Trust for America’s Health is proud to participate in National Public Health Week and its 2022 theme “Public Health is Where You Are.”
Public health’s mission is to promote health and protect people from health risks, including diseases and natural or man-made disasters. Prevention and disease surveillance are central to that mission, as are population-level health interventions including addressing the social determinants of health. Public health practitioners work at the community level to ensure that everyone has an opportunity for optimal health. A critical premise of that work is engaging with and empowering communities, including identifying and addressing root causes of health inequities and barriers to good health.
The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the urgent need to grow the public health workforce and ensure that it has the tools it needs to fulfill its mission. TFAH and other public health leaders have called for an annual investment of $4.5 billion to support public health infrastructure and workforce. Much of what we spend as a nation on healthcare today is spent on preventable illness and injury. Rebuilding the public health system would help address health inequities, would make the country better prepared for future health emergencies, and would improve health outcomes.
TFAH’s 2022 Ready or Not: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism report for more information on public health emergency readiness and the connection between health equity and emergency preparedness.
TFAH’s annual report, The Impact of Chronic Underfunding on America’s Public Health System: Trends, Risks, and Recommendations, 2021 tracks the dearth of funding for public health and the impact that scarcity has had on the public health infrastructure, readiness, and workforce.