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Scientists Should be Leading a Strong Public Health Workforce for a Healthy America

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OPENING MINDS TO SCIENCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY. Year 2009. 200th anniversary of Charles ... Use of high fructose corn syrup. Additives in processed food ' ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Scientists Should be Leading a Strong Public Health Workforce for a Healthy America


1
Scientists Should be Leading a Strong Public
Health Workforce for a Healthy America
  • CAPT Patricia D. Mail, PhD, MPH, CHES, USPHS
    (ret)
  • USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium
  • June 2, 2009

2
Learning Objectives
  • By completion of this session, participants
    should be able to
  • Explain the importance of science knowledge for
    the work force.
  • Understand the challenges facing the public
    health work force.
  • Be able to advocate for new science policies.

3
Opening Minds to science in the 21st century
4
Year 2009
  • 200th anniversary of Charles
  • Darwins birth
  • 150th anniversary of The Origin
  • of Species
  • Public accepts and understands
  • fundamentals of science

5
21st Century
6
  • Are we mindful of the major health hazards that
    our new technology lifestyles have created?

7
  • Are we aware that the general public likes
    things in black and white, while science is
    shades of gray?

8
  • What is our responsibility for the knowledge and
    understanding of science by the general public?

9
  • Do we have responsibility for improving the work
    forces knowledge of science, given that work
    force is also part of the public?

10
HIV Epidemic
  • Every DHHS employee take AIDS-101
  • Educate the workforce
  • Help prevent the spread of HIV
  • Reduce the stigma of HIV infected
  • people in the workplace
  • Resistance from senior researchers
  • we still cannot seem to have open dialogue
  • where sexual behavior is concerned.

11
Three Issue Areas
  • Personal Health, including Mental Health
  • Public Health
  • Environmental Health

12
Personal health
13
Importance of Practical Applications
  • Genetics
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Chronic Diseases

What are the practical applications? Can you
explain them to the lay public?
14
Immunizations
  • Childhood Immunizations
  • Parents still neglect to get children immunized
  • New outbreaks of infectious diseases (measles,
    whooping cough, chicken pox)
  • Adult Immunizations
  • Adults have a need for immunizations
  • (shingles, pneumonia)
  • Travel immunizations

15
H1N1 (Swine Flu)
16
Politicizing of HIV / STIs
  • Identity protection for those with HIV, became
    political
  • Many individuals resisted providing
  • names to public health workers
  • Resulting in cessation of contact tracing
  • Contributed (?) to increased prevalence of AIDS,
    gonorrhea, syphilis, Chlamydia

17
Drug Misuse
  • US is market for illicit drug consumption
  • Big tobacco targets our youth
  • Need for palliative medication

18
Subtle Threats
  • Use of high fructose corn syrup
  • Additives in processed food
  • Heavy weights and need for fitness

19
Threats from Technology
  • Hearing is compromised by iPods
  • Thumbs threatened by text messaging
  • Youth who cannot spell/speak entire sentence

20
Violence
  • Gun ownership and ammunition supplies
  • Supreme Court upheld NRAs definition of 2nd
    Amendment

21
  • Threats to individuals, in the aggregate, become
    threats to our community or public health.

22
Public health
23
Public Health Concerns
  • Exposure
  • Air
  • Water
  • Sound
  • Waste Disposal

24
Waste Disposal / Pollutants
  • Plastic bottles
  • Glass and aluminum
  • Soil pollution lead, arsenic,
  • Air pollution
  • Oil, heavy metals
  • Burning wood
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

25
Returning Veterans
  • Increase in
  • Suicides
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Limiting physical injuries

26
Mental Health
  • Neglected step-child of health care
  • Costly and hard to treat
  • its time to rebalance the psyche and soma

27
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Track migration corridors of birds
  • Plot outbreaks (e.g., avian flu, measles, food
    poisoning, HIV, TB, etc.)
  • Therefore, we can
  • Establish quarantine stations
  • Establish immunization clinics
  • Plan other prevention measures

28
Focus on Prevention
  • Disease prevention is public healths primary
    concern
  • We must not forget the subtle threats to human
    health

29
Environmental health
30
Human Health and the Environment
  • We want
  • Air we breathe, to be clean
  • Water we use, to be pure and safe
  • Food we eat, to be safe
  • Medicines we use, to be tested and certified
  • Nutriceuticals we use, to be safe with
    appropriate oversight and quality assurance

31
Food Safety
32
  • System of inspection has failed
  • Peanuts
  • Pistachios
  • We need to support
  • Local health departments
  • Federal regulators

33
Nicotine
  • Highly addictive drug
  • FDA has oversight
  • Commercial interests prevented oversight of
    delivery systems
  • Health of millions was affected

34
Vulnerable Populations
  • Dine people and uranium mining
  • Durango, CO and radioactive ore
  • Yucca Mountain, NV and nuclear fuel rods

35
Garbage
  • Where do we put garbage?
  • What is garbage?
  • How do we mitigate garbage?

36
Changed Environment
  • Pros
  • Better insulated homes
  • More efficient furnaces
  • Filters for air we breathe
  • Less opportunity for infectious
  • disease exposure

37
  • Continuing challenges
  • Resurgence of tuberculosis
  • human warehousing in prisons, jails, airplanes
  • Polio is not yet eradicated
  • the concept of early exposure

38
Challenge of Birds and Animals
  • H5N1 flu virus (bird flu)
  • West Nile virus
  • Yellow Fever
  • Dengue
  • Malaria

39
Emerging Issues
  • As climate changes, there will be shift in
    plants, animals, insects, bacteria, and viruses
  • Importation of exotic foods
  • will bring new visitors
  • Planet is much smaller and
  • travel is swifter

40
Environmental Health
  • Public Health Definition
  • Protecting people from threats inherent or
    created in the environment.

41
Advocacy Developing science policy
42
Public Health Issues
  • Complex and multiple
  • Simple and direct
  • Yet, we have an obligation to understand
  • and explain the science to others!

43
Last Two Decades
  • World is more complex
  • More people are frightened
  • Anti-science climate

44
Science
  • is not in opposition to beliefs held by some
    faith traditions.
  • All science is based on faith the faith that
    what we see is actually there.
  • -- Richard Goodwin

45
Relationship between Science and Faith
  • We must help people understand science what it
    is and what it is not
  • Assure people that their faith
  • traditions are important
  • there is room for both!

46
Next Generation of Practitioners
  • Informatics
  • Genomics
  • Communication
  • Cultural Competence
  • Community-based Participatory Research
  • Policy and Law
  • Global Health
  • Ethics

47
Determinants of Public Health
  • Innate individual traits and biological factors
    that operate across the life span
  • Individual behavior
  • Social, family and community networks
  • Living and working conditions
  • Broad social, economic, cultural, health and
    environmental conditions
  • Policies at the global, national, state and local
    level

48
IOM Recommendation
  • Lifelong learning
  • Individual health
  • Professional health
  • Personal health
  • Including mental health pursuits (e.g., music,
    art, travel, culinary pursuits, bird watching,
    etc.)

49
Personal Challenge
  • Recommend and advocate for improved health and
    science policies.

50
Advocate!
  • Speak out on behalf of individual health, about
    prevention, and reducing harm to our selves, our
    families, and our communities.

51
References
  • Barnes, E. (2005). Diseases and Human Evolution.
    Albuquerque, New Mexico University of New
    Mexico Press.
  • Begley, S. (2009) Anatomy of a Scare. Newsweek.
    Pp. 43-47, March 2, 2009.
  • Brownson, R.C., Baker, E.A., Leet, T.L., and
    Gillespie, K.N. (2003). Evidence-Based Public
    Health. London Oxford University Press.
  • Brugge, D., Benally, T., and Yazzie-Lewis, E.
    (Eds.). (2006). The Navajo People and Uranium
    Mining. Albuquerque, NM University of New Mexico
    Press.
  • Goodwin, Richard (2009). In an interview with
    Charlie Rose on public television, March 30,
    2009.
  • Heavner, K. (2008). Changing tobacco products
    Marketing, Use and Beliefs. Presentation at the
    134th annual meeting of the American Public
    Health Association, San Diego, CA.
  • Institute of Medicine. (1988). The Future of
    Public Health. Washington, DC National Academy
    Press
  • Institute of Medicine. (2003). The Future of the
    Publics Health in the 21st Century. Washington,
    DC National Academies Press.
  • Institute of Medicine. (2003). Who Will Keep the
    Public Healthy? Educating Public Health
    Professionals for the 21st Century. Washington,
    DC National Academies Press.
  • Tomlinson, R.F. (2009). Changing the face of
    geography GIS and IGU. ARC News, 31 (1), 4,
    ESRI, Spring 2009.
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • United states Food and Drug Administration
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