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Public Health 2030 Scenarios: Foresight for Health Departments
Tuesday, November 18, 2014: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
The context for public health continues to change, and what public health will do in the decades ahead is an open question. Federal, state and local public health agencies (PHAs) face major fiscal pressures. Government spending cuts challenge the ability of PHAs to lead in many areas that are crucial for public health, such as the growing health equity movement. Moreover, climate change is bringing real and dramatic challenges to health in all parts of the country with hurricanes, floods, droughts, and superstorms hurting communities. Some of the gaps in health care that are currently filled by public health may – particularly if health care reform is fully implemented – disappear as access to effective health care becomes nearly universal. Functions that public health retains in the years to come are likely to change significantly in terms of how they are done, as in the case of automation of inspection and surveillance.
Given the multiple uncertainties, health departments can use scenarios to consider plausible alternative paths for the field and their jurisdictions in order to choose the best way forward. Thus, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kresge Foundation, the Institute for Alternative Futures worked with state and local health departments, leaders, and experts in the field to build Public Health 2030 scenarios that explore a range of forces and offer pathways to expectable, challenging, and visionary futures for public health.
Panel members will:
1. Provide highlights of national and local alternative scenarios of public health 2030 in the U.S.
2. Discuss recommendations for strategy and action. National recommendations for the public health field and other stakeholders were developed at a national Public Health 2030 workshop in March 2014 with participants from associations, local health departments, academia, government, policy think tanks and non-profits, business, health care, and philanthropy. Strategic areas discussed include improving community resilience, building public health infrastructure and capacity, creating health equity, and ensuring the right to health and health care.
3. Discuss implications, recommendations, and insights that leaders from public health agencies (PHAs) gained for their planning and policymaking from using local public health scenarios. PHAs that participated in the Public Health 2030 project are Cuyahoga County Board of Health, OH; Boston Public Health Commission, MA; Fargo Cass Public Health, ND; and the Virginia Department of Health, VA.
Session Objectives: Demonstrate a systemic understanding of future possibilities, including risks, challenges, and opportunities.
Describe how PHAs can use scenarios to aid in their strategic planning.
Design more robust strategies that have a greater potential to advance public health toward more preferable futures and provide better contingencies in the face of challenging futures.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by: APHA
Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)
Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)