Thursday: Building Broader Communities

Let’s map the network of partners and connections needed in our communities to make the U.S. the healthiest nation in one generation.

In the work to become the Healthiest Nation in One Generation, we can’t do it all on our own. As public health professionals, we know it’s not enough to ask people to make healthy choices when intractable challenges such as poverty, poor education, housing and environmental factors have such a profound impact on health. The public health community must expand its partnerships to collaborate with city planners, education officials, public, private and for-profit organizations – everyone who impacts our health.

Facts & Stats:

  • Individual workers, unions, employers, government agencies, scientists, state labor and health authorities, and others have worked together to make a significant difference in workplace conditions and safety, vastly reducing workplace injuries and death.
  • Fighting Big Tobacco to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in the U.S. would not have been possible without the combined efforts of a broad coalition of government officials, public health groups, scientists, economists, and educators. Scientific evidence proved the relationship between disease and tobacco use / environmental exposure to tobacco. Funders and advocates spread this information to the public, and fought for nonsmokers’ rights. Government officials and agencies (together with advocates and voters!) passed tobacco taxes, restricted smoking in public spaces, and limited how tobacco companies could advertise.
  • Public health action, together with scientific and technologic advances, have played a major role in reducing and in some cases eliminating the spread of infectious disease, and in establishing today’s disease surveillance and control systems.
  • Reducing death and injury attributable to motor vehicles has required an all-hands-on-deck approach. In 1966, passage of the Highway Safety Act and the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act authorized the federal government to set and regulate standards for motor vehicles and highways, and many changes in both vehicle and highway design followed that mandate. Drivers and passengers also changed their behaviors, in part thanks to significant public health and safety campaigns. Governments and communities recognized the need for motor-vehicle safety, which prompted programs by federal and state governments, academic institutions, community-based organizations, and industry.

(For more visit http://www.cdc.gov/about/history/tengpha.htm)

What’s next? Together we can create the healthiest nation in one generation.

We have a lot of challenges to overcome, but it all starts with a simple first step:

Sign the pledge to show your commitment.  Ask others to sign as well because the more people who sign, the more influence we have to drive change.

Sign the petition to ask our leaders to do their part.  It will take change at both the local and national level to ensure our communities make a positive impact on our health.

 

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