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1.The United States can prepare for the future of public health in a number of ways. By enhancing the public health system across all levels – federal, state, and the localities it would benefit individuals greatly. Utilizing a more organized system of care with a leader to coordinate the U.S. public health efforts would promote success to ensure adequate and appropriate funding for enhanced infrastructure that encompass data systems, laboratory care, staffing of medical professionals, and other aspects of public health (The Common Wealth Fund, 2022). Congress should fund healthcare infrastructure that places expectations and standards on state and localities to enhance health efforts. By embracing a transparent public health approach it would allow for more public health protection, involve more community partnerships, and lead to a change in healthcare policies. Enhancing partnerships between public health agencies and healthcare organizations would improve health and welfare across the nation. By developing and further enhancing public health partnerships it would improve population health and improve access to healthcare. Public and private organizations can work together to address public health concerns. Utilizing global, federal and state agencies to combat health equity will improve the future of public health. Assembling a task force of these agencies to use their “resources, mission, and operations” as a combined entity will promote effective public health activities (Mays & Scutchfield, 2010). A partnership task force provides structure and “information exchange, planning and policy development, and implementation of programs and policies” (Mays & Scutchfield, 2010). Establishing a leader federally to then appoint state public health leadership can be beneficial to expand local health department initiatives. Utilizing this approach will promote collaboration and evidence-based practices to improve health outcomes.
Considerations to prepare for a bioterrorism attack involve alerts from emergency TV, radio or smart phone. Creating an emergency supply kit and making a family emergency plan are all ways to prepare (Ready.gov., 2021). Contacting primary care to ensure family members have updated vaccinations is another step that can be crucial to health safety and protection. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for natural or man-made disaster education, preparedness, and response (U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d.). Similarly the U.S. in addition to the local communities can prepare for natural disasters by mitigation and preparedness (GovPilot, n.d.). Mitigation is utilized first by updating building codes, developing resilient disaster infrastructure, and education on home protection (GovPilot, n.d.). Becoming prepared by having knowledge of local hospitals, shelters, and police departments is crucial to an efficient recovery after the disaster takes place.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established a multidisciplinary task force of members around the country with the goal to improve health and lives. The task force jointly supports health interventions and initiatives to inform decisions on the federal, state, and local health department levels (The Community Guide, 2022). Utilizing this model and implementing a designed task force in every state would be key to betterment of society. Establishing a task force comprised of health professionals, community officials, and health department staff can be utilized to prepare, improve, and plan for the future of public health.
The Common Wealth Fund. (2022, June 21). Meeting America’s Public Health Challenge. Improving HealthCare Quality. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2022/jun/meeting-americas-public-health-challenge.
2.Public Health can be defined as what we, as a society, do collectively to assure the health of our population. However, in the United States there seems to be varying degrees of readiness for future health crises. This can be attributed to differing opinions of how much of a role the government should play in these efforts and the way that these services ought to be delivered to the public. One thing that must be done across the nation is for the government to take on the responsibility of assessing the health of the population through gathering data related to health status, community health needs, and epidemiological data that can easily be accessed by the public (Institute of Medicine, 1988). Additionally, it will be vital that our government uses science-driven data in order to establish what are effective responses to different issues that may arise, agree on those measures, and have an action plan in place to carry out rendering services to the populace effectively. A recent example of this going awry is during the Covid-19 pandemic in which the President of the United States seemed at odds with the efficacy of using masks and vaccines to counteract the issue. Leading to a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers at one point of the pandemic and ultimately the US accounting for 20% of global deaths and 25% of global cases with only 4% of the total population of the world (UCSF, n.d.).
In the future it will be vital that we as a populace and government support scientific efforts and agree on their validity to help protect against possible threats of bioterrorism. An exciting example of this is the concept of broad spectrum-activity in which scientists place a specimen onto a microchip device in order to test possible mutations or hybridizations. Allowing us to gather information on possible outbreaks of these variants, as well as test current medicines to counteract these theoretical pathogens (Ryan, 2016). In the case of natural disasters, it has been shown that effective systems for predicting and warning the population are the most effective responses, as well as strengthening technology that helps our nation to predict them in a timely fashion to allow for warning messages to be sent out. In the future it will be important that the US continues to upgrade this technology using the latest scientific and technological advances and to expand research on the social aspects of warning systems and their efficacy (NAP, 1991)
In conclusion there are various threats that are continually evolving that our nation will need to be prepared for. One of the first steps will be for our government to agree on steps needed to combat these threats using information from the scientific community and data gathered about these threats. From there disseminating the resources needed to not only protect, but to allow for strengthening of research and development will be crucial to future success in preventing loss. One thing to note is that this will need to be a collaborative effort between clinicians, scientists, government representatives, and technology experts to keep driving the efficacy of our public health response going forward. Teamwork ultimately will lead the United States to success in these endeavors.