It’s National Public Health Week, and the American Public Health Association is encouraging people to recognize public health’s contributions and get involved in advancing public health. This year’s theme is “the healthiest nation in one generation” – in other words, the U.S. is currently far from being the healthiest nation, but we can turn that around in the space of a generation.

Since I’m already immersed in the field, I find it hard to judge how effective these efforts are at reaching people don’t think much about public health. That seems to be the audience APHA is aiming for with its National Public Health Week video:


I’m glad that they highlighted both healthcare  (the local clinic, doctors and nurses) and non-healthcare (water, nutrition, auto safety, bike trails) elements of public health. Of course, everyone’s going to think of plenty of things the video didn’t include — one commenter at the Healthiest Nation in One Generation website bemoaned that immunization wasn’t mentioned, and I noticed the absence of occupational health or climate change. Given that the producers probably wanted to keep it short, though, I think they did a pretty good job including a range of public health issues.

The question is, will people who aren’t already public-health devotees watch this video? And if they do, will it make a difference?

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