The past several weeks have seen a few interesting tidbits emerge on public health both within the Valley and without:
The Lehigh Valley Board of Health met last Monday to discuss its next course of action. The Board is continuing to try and raise support for a regional (bi-county) health department covering Lehigh and Northampton counties (you can read more about the benefits of a regional health department at RenewLV’s website). The Emmaus Patch reports that the Board is planning on a fresh campaign to try and building support within the general public and elected officials. Health Board Chairwoman Ilene Prokup is quoted saying “I think probably our major effort over the next couple of months has to be education, education of the public and education of the county commissioners and council people as to what is the difference between public health and why its important and the private health or medical system.” (For a short, simple explanation of the difference between public health and private healthcare, take a look at this Crossroads post from last year).
NRDC’s Switchboard has a post about the consequences that global climate change will have for public health in the U.S. Kim Knowlton discusses new estimations from the insurance industry and the national security community about the health threats posed by storms, floods, and other disasters caused by climate change. “Besides the initial mortality rates, people in impacted U.S. regions could suffer from waterborne illnesses and see an increase in infectious diseases.” Knowlton presents a call to action:
It’s my duty as a health scientist to help people reduce their exposure to harm from public health threats, yet climate change – called “the biggest global threat of the 21st century” by one of the world’s premier medical journals – presents a daunting array of risks that too few Americans know about.
Let’s shine a light on this issue and look at what’s being done across the U.S. to prepare for life under a changing climate, applaud the champions who are already taking action to protect the nation’s health, and defend our right to a climate-secure, healthier future.
Finally, StreetsBlog discusses a new review by the World Health Organization of 300 studies in an effort to demonstrate the link between transportation policies and public health. While the link is seemingly obvious, research attempting to provide quantifiable evidence for the link tends to be incomplete or lacking. Hopefully, the WHO review will fill the current void. Take a look at the post, it’s worth a read.