4075.0 The History & Future of Public Health: Science, Politics and Policy

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 10:30 AM
This special session on the History of Public Health will concentrate on the gains and challenges in public health, post WW II, during the past 50 years, and discuss the political and policy directions of public health into the 21st century. The first presenter will describe the state of public health just prior to the dawning of the civil rights movement and the women’s movement. To illustrate the gains in public health during this era, video clips or films will be shown that elucidate the success of immunization campaigns, public health clinics; public health ad campaigns, etc. At the Federal level, accomplishments in public health highlighting the scientific and policy roles of the U.S. Surgeon Generals can be described. (Major accomplishments included: the tobacco lawsuit (Julius Richmond); Surgeon Generals report on Mental Health (David Satcher); Addressing Health Disparities and discussion of child and adolescent health and normal sexuality (Joycelyn Elders); Dr C. Everett Koop issued information on HIV/AIDS). (Admiral John O. Agwunobi, MD, MBA MPH, DHHS Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH)) With the Civil Rights, Women’s Rights and Antiwar movements of the late ‘60’s through the ‘90’s, the public lost trust in the major political, social and health institutions, which greatly affected public health systems both nationally and locally. The Great Society Programs of the Johnson Administration attempted to address health disparities in access to health care by racial and ethnic minority groups and low-income communities through the development of health clinics at the neighborhood level. Consumer involvement in public health and in health services was heightened during this era. This was most dramatically demonstrated in the 1980’s with the newly identified disease HIV/AIDS, and the stigma that surrounded risk factors for HIV/AIDS and the traditional public health reporting and tracing systems that may violate patient confidentiality. At this time, the tradition approval pharmaceutics through FDA for medications to treat HIV/AIDS symptoms were speeded-up under the pressure of the public and groups of consumer advocates to address this epidemic. Present and Future Direction: (2000 and beyond) The focus on federal funding of bioterrorism as a public health threat, which began in the Clinton administration as a way to fund public health programs at the state and local level – were not really effective and the public health sector has been privatized and more aligned with the privatized health care delivery system – we should have a speaker addressing this current trend as well as other emerging disease of public health importance. The presenter will describe the future direction of public health including how social determinants of health– linking other social movements such as environmental, housing, built environment (fighting obesity and promoting physical activity) to public health, will affect the direction of research and service; and also looking at issues of globalization and how international indices as well as social movements can be adopted that will improve the US Public Health System.
Session Objectives: At the conclusion of this meeting the participants will have learned: The historic role and the successes of Public Health in the post-WWII era. The social, political and policy influences that produced great changes in the Public Health. How the U.S. Public Health Care system is seeking to reorganize and rebuild to address the needs of populations in the 21st Century.
Barbara H. Guest, MSW, MPH

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-Special Sessions
Endorsed by: Epidemiology

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing

See more of: APHA-Special Sessions