The art and science dealing with the protection and improvement of community health, prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts, as opposed to the medical science of preventing disease, or the study of disease in an individual body.
This book explores the impact on our health of the environments we build for ourselves, how public health and urban planning can work together to build settings that that promote healthy living, and how the built environment addresses issues of health equity and environmental justice.
The Contested Boundaries of American Public Health
by James Colgrove (Editor);
Call Number: SCIENCE RA395.A3 C732 2008
Publication Date: 2008
The role of public health services in America is generally considered to be the reduction of illness, suffering, and death. But what exactly does this mean in practice? At different points in history, professionals in the field have addressed housing reform, education about sex and illegal drugs, hospital and clinic care, gun violence, and even bioterrorism. But there is no agreement about how far public health efforts should go in attempting to modify behaviors seen as lifestyle choices, or whether the field's mandate extends to intervening in broader social and economic conditions. The authors of the thirteen essays in this book attempt to understand what are, and what should be, the field's chief goals and activities. Drawing on examples that include September 11th, Hurricane Katrina, the anthrax scare, and more, contributors examine the historical evolution of the profession and show how public health is changing in the context of natural and human-made disasters and the politics that surround them.