public health

Dear Research Advocate: A very close election has entered the history books, in the process laying bare the profound divisions that will challenge all our elected representatives as they seek to unify and heal the nation. We have been deluged with questions about the impact of a Trump Administration on science. A useful primer is his answers to the ScienceDebate.org questionnaire that we and several other groups worked together to create. For example, President-elect Trump says this: “...the federal government should encourage innovation in the areas of space exploration and investment in research and development across the broad landscape of academia.” He also says this: “Though there are...
This blog post is part of a weekly series focusing on different aspects of public health leading up to Public Health Thank You Day on Monday, November 21, 2016. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #PHTYD and visit www.publichealththankyouday.org for more information. “We can look back on the whole history of public health and see that environmental health is very at much the center of it,” said Tee Guidotti, M.D., MPH, president of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society. “When public health was organized for the modern era in the 1850s, environmental health was one of the first areas to be codified into new public health acts, because that era was quite dangerous...
If you had an opportunity to include public health priorities in the next president’s inaugural or State of the Union address, what would they be? Building more healthier communities and increasing investments in public health research to understand the root causes of health challenges were among the recommendations of panelists at a town hall moderated by Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting on Monday, October 31. The presidential candidates are interested in improving our nation’s infrastructure but they’re not thinking about the health infrastructure, noted Julie Gerberding, M.D., MPH , executive vice president for...
This blog post is part of a weekly series focusing on different aspects of public health leading up to Public Health Thank You Day on Monday, November 21, 2016. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #PHTYD and visit www.publichealththankyouday.org for more information. The U.S. is experiencing a shifting landscape of health care and public health. Access to care, quality of care, health care costs, medication adherence, and medication safety are top priorities to patients. Research has shown that, along with medication management, we can look to pharmacists to effectively provide preventive care and follow-up services, helping to address each of these priorities in easily...
The One Health Initiative , which is supported by scientific, health and environmentally related disciplines, represents the future of infectious disease treatment and prevention. As advocates for science and medical innovation, we must recognize the enormous potential that One Health holds and encourage multi-disciplinary thinking and collaboration across the full spectrum of stakeholders to improve public health and security. Many zoonotic diseases -- diseases that are transmissible between animals and humans -- have had profound effects on public health. Ongoing scientific research on a West Nile Virus vaccine, increased understanding of chronic Lyme disease and therapeutic treatments...
This blog post is part of a weekly series focusing on different aspects of public health leading up to Public Health Thank You Day on Monday, November 21, 2016. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #PHTYD and visit www.publichealththankyouday.org for more information. While One Health or One Medicine is a relatively new idea, humans have long recognized the connection between animals, humans, the environment and health. Chinese scholars in the last three centuries BCE interpreted the earth and human body as interdependent and that if the land was unhealthy so was the body. Writings from the Hippocratic Corpus (composed between the sixth and fourth century BCE) include...
Recent research suggests that oral health is closely tied to overall physical health, and poor oral health could play a role in a wide range of diseases like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. As such, it is becoming clear that obtaining good oral healthcare services is just as important as getting quality medical care. However, 1 in 5 Americans 65 and older have untreated cavities, and over 70% have periodontal disease. Research!America and Colgate-Palmolive hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on Tuesday, October 4 in Washington, D.C. to discuss oral health challenges facing older adults in the United States featuring top experts in the fields of public health and dentistry. Dr. Michael...
In the U.S., it is estimated that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer in their lifetime even though 50% of cancer deaths are preventable. The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network hosted a panel on Friday, September 30 in Washington, D.C. on the future of cancer prevention with top public health experts. “We cannot achieve the full potential in our cancer fight unless we embrace and implement everything we have learned about prevention,” said Dr. Richard Wender, the American Cancer Society’s Chief Cancer Control Officer, and keynote speaker. Of the 26% decline in cancer death rates among women in the United States from 1930-2012, he...
Hillary Clinton has been clear about her support for vaccines, but Donald Trump appears to be revising his views on immunizations. While supporting vaccination laws established by the states, Gary Johnson thinks the federal government should be allowed to intervene if there is a national or regional health concern. Jill Stein is concerned about declining vaccinations rates and has a plan to reverse it. The presidential candidates’ thoughts on vaccinations and 19 other science-related questions were released last Tuesday by ScienceDebate.org. Trump suggested a year ago at a GOP debate there’s a link between vaccinations and autism, giving an example of a 2 ½ year old child who developed a...
Dear Research Advocate: World-class athletes are getting ready to go for the gold in Rio. No one is going for copper, but researchers have found that in healthcare settings, this mineral is a champion when it comes to reducing the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria (one of several public health threats that has received attention in the run-up to the Games). If you are looking for an example of the return on research, this article about the role of copper in reducing hospital associated infections provides an excellent one. Years of investment in research, from discovery science through to trials, can and will pay off for the public with every expectation of many more lives saved in...

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco