Public Health

Public Health Video

Published on Apr 4, 2013

APHA honors National Public Health Week 2013 with a video outlining the return on investment of prevention and public health funding. Read the full transcript below:

  • Public Health: Save Lives, Save Money
  • Public Health is all around us
  • When you drink water …
  • Every $1 invested in fluoridated water has a $40 return in dental care.
  • When you’re heading places …
  • Every $1 invested in a child safety seat has a $42 return in avoided medical costs.
  • Seat belts save thousands of lives each year, and increasing use would save thousands more. Each year seat belts save about 13,000 in the U.S.
  • When children are at school …
  • Every $1 invested in early education and quality care has up to a $13 return in future costs.
  • And when you are at work …
  • Every $1 invested in an effective workplace safety program may save $4 to $6 in avoided illnesses, injuries, and fatalities.
  • When you’re on the move …
  • Every $1 invested in biking and walking opportunities can return benefits up to $11.80.
  • Every $1 invested in food and nutrition education has a $10 return in reduced health care costs
  • Get your checkup …
  • Childhood immunizations save $9.9 million in direct health care costs, saves 33,000 lives and prevent 14 million cases of disease.
  • And while you enjoy your free-time …
  • For every $1 spent on providing tobacco cessation programs the potential ROI is $1.26. In one year the U.S. could save $711 million.
  • If 10 percent of adults began regularly walking, $5.6 billion in heart disease costs would be averted.
  • Public health is a return on investment: Prioritize public health funding.
  • National Public Health Week is April 1-7. Find out more at
  • The Triple Aim: Care, Health, And Cost
  • Donald M. Berwick,  Thomas W. NolanJohn Whittington
  • Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Donald Berwick (
  • Abstract
  • Improving the U.S. health care system requires simultaneous pursuit of three aims: improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of health care. Preconditions for this include the enrollment of an identified population, a commitment to universality for its members, and the existence of an organization (an “integrator”) that accepts responsibility for all three aims for that population. The integrator’s role includes at least five components: partnership with individuals and families, redesign of primary care, population health management, financial management, and macro system integration.
  • Beyond The Triple Aim: Integrating The Nonmedical Sectors  by David Kindig
  • …. the “actual” causes of mortality in the United States lie in behavior that the individual health care system addresses unreliably or not at all, such as smoking, violence, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and unsafe choices. An integrator would increase preventive efforts. An integrator would also encourage and cooperate with governmental policies, agencies, and programs to discourage smoking, combat obesity, provide alternatives to violence and substance abuse, and address community determinants of mental health problems” (p. 764).
  • The key question is, Who will be this integrator? All of the examples listed are of innovative healthcare delivery organizations, whose role will be to “induce coordinative behavior among health service suppliers to work as a system for the defined population”


Community Health Workers(CHW); what ever our local job title; are Public Health Workers who are specialists in the social determinants of health (SDOH) .

We are members of the communities we serve, living and working in those communities, we have an insiders perspective on public health issues. Daily we live in and see the consequences of the social determinants of health. CHWs are acutely aware of how SDOH play out in our lives and in the lives of our family neighbors and friends. we believe that working in public health is a calling and a matter of social justice.
David Kindig talks about system integrators as institutions with financial incentives . I believe that Community Health Workers of all job descriptions are micro specialists and highly mobile in the community between the traditional siloed service providers, thereby acting as an integrating workforce. ( articles from Health Affairs below)

Prevention Institute alert: April 10, 2014
Imagine if… National Public Health Week (and work) has all the resources it needs…
Unless you have a public health degree, work for a public health organization or are a member of the American Public Health Association, you probably don’t have a clue that this week is National Public Health Week.
It will be a great day when everyone knows it’s Public Health Week–and public health gets all the resources needed to keep our nation healthy. There are lots of reasons why public health work (and week) tend to be invisible.
When public health does its job really well, we prevent a lot of bad stuff from happening in the first place. Car crashes avoided, cancer clusters dissipated, community violence diminished, cases of type-2 diabetes absent, asthma attacks that never happened and HIV that wasn’t transmitted. Here at Prevention Institute, we’re frequently asked how we prove that prevention is effective. How do you measure it if it never happened?
When most people think about public health, or learn there’s a week to honor it, they probably think about flu shots, childhood vaccinations, and treatment of STDs. But the mission of public health is far broader. Healthy communities and homes, safe neighborhoods, good parks, quality jobs, good schools, efficient public transportation, clean air, water and soil—all the things we want for our families—are the embodiment of public health in action. These are the things we strive for, and that far too many people do without.
Most of what public health does well, it does in partnership with others, which also can make it easy to overlook our work. We create safe places to walk and bike when we partner with transportation planners. We get community parks when we collaborate with partners that work to improve the environment and promote recreation. Healthy food access comes about when we engage with farmers, grocers, food service providers and far-sighted developers. But when the neighborhood becomes safe or the school food gets healthier, few people think about the role public health practitioners had in making it happen.

It’s frequently not until we’re sick or injured that we start asking how an illness or injury could have been prevented. And since, as a nation, we spend $2.8 trillion a year on health care—the vast majority for conditions that can be prevented—the real question is what can we all do to prevent needless suffering, avoidable injuries, preventable illnesses and runaway costs? That’s the ongoing agenda for prevention and public health advocates and we embrace the mission.

So even though few people have ever heard of National Public Health Week, we still think it’s a great time to recognize our accomplishments, applaud some colleagues and look forward to the work that lies ahead. Here are a few things—and people—we think are worth celebrating:

Heath reform is working. Some 9.5 million people have gained coverage and access to care as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and that number that is likely to rise. For the first time in years, the number of uninsured people in the U.S. has dropped substantially, from 20.5 percent to 15.8 percent. That means many more people now can get routine and preventive care before they need treatment on an emergency basis.

Real money is flowing to prevention. Even before people began enrolling in healthcare through government exchanges, the Affordable Care Act established the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a pot of money devoted to promoting prevention. The Fund is making investments that help communities across the country support farmers’ markets, create walking trails, reduce smoking, improve people’s access to healthy food and generally become healthier.

Chronic disease rates in some communities are starting to fall.Rates of diabetes and obesity, which have been rising for years, are beginning to level off and even decline in some communities, showing that efforts to improve access to healthy food and increase physical activity are working. In Chula Vista, California, the school district and county public health officials have worked together to get kids moving and eating right. As a result, the number of elementary schoolchildren who are overweight or obese has dropped 3.2 percent in the last two years, after reaching 40 percent in 2010.