142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Science of Resilience and the Science of Public Health: An Excellent Match

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Bernard D. Goldstein, MD , Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of PIttsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA
Although relatively new as a formal concept in environmental health, resilience is a longstanding characteristic of public health.   Providing systematic approaches to prevent shocks to the health of an individual or a population is the goal of routine public health measures such as vaccination for infectious diseases or the prevention of pollution.  Achieving improvements in public health requires multi-disciplinary approaches and increased understanding of adaptive systems, redundancy, vulnerability and the interdependency of health, environmental and economic well-being – all of which are central to resilience and sustainability.  Decreasing the vulnerability of populations to disasters is an important public health goal and should shape resilience based approaches.   Strategies aimed at the resilience of infrastructures should incorporate the role of humans and of communities, including socio-cultural issues that are central to effective public health practice.   Scientific approaches to achieve resilience and to strengthen public health are also linked through recognition that a community’s environmental health is influenced by its physical, built, social, cultural, and policy factors.  Similarly, the unity of ecosystem and human health is increasingly recognized.  Public health concepts, like primary, secondary and tertiary prevention, address many of the same issues as those being developed in the emerging science of resilience.  As has been evident in US Gulf Coast communities affected by natural and human-made disasters, health vulnerabilities affect the impact of these disasters.   Improving preparedness against natural disasters and the impact of those disasters on human health will be facilitated by recognition of the overlapping sciences of public health and resilience.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the similarity of core concepts in resilience and in public health Identify approaches that mitigate the health impact of disasters through improving both public health and community resilience Discuss how addressing the overlaps between resilience and public health can strengthen the science of disaster response

Keyword(s): Disasters, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an international expert on the topic of public health and community resilience.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.