Scholarly Research Paper

Abstract

The paper reviews the past and current public health and health education initiatives and utilizes the information to help build on the future of public health and health education. Since the health of the community is determined by the public health and the health professionals’ interaction, the paper aims at identifying how the future roles can be expanded. The review shows that the role of public health and health education professionals has to shift from provision of care to prevention through the creation of healthy communities. Based on the healthy people 2020, there is need to incorporate more goals into the healthy people 2030. Those goals touch on the improvement of the living conditions, promoting communities of practice for professionals and collaboration during policymaking. The paper also identified the need for scholars to use their strengths to support and promote public health and health education.

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Introduction

A healthy population solely depends on quality public health and the professionalism of health education professionals. Public health is the responsibility of several agencies that include federal, state as well as the local government agencies. The ultimate goal is to achieve essential health service to the Americans. Public Health is based on the pillars of prevention, use of science, continued interdependence, and care for those who are medically underserved. This paper will try to elucidate the emerging role of public health and health professionals in 2030 and beyond. It is also aimed at understanding the potentiality of the health systems, programs and policies and their possible impact on the future of public health and health education.

The paper also gives an assessment of personal strengths as depicted in the Strengths Finder results and how they can be used to promote public health and health education. The methodology used analysis of health-related journals and articles to reveal the gap that exists in offering health care and the use of corrective thinking to inform changes. It is worth noting that multiple level influences often define health and health behaviors (CDC, 2005). This entails the personal level which is mostly biological, and psychological, institutional level, environmental and policy levels.

The inter-relationships of these standards are dynamic hence the most effective remedies and interventions to be embraced must address the determinants at all levels. It is vital to expand and bring in a new role for public health and health professionals before the public health becomes insurmountable. Therefore, the role of public health and health professionals has to expand to focus on improvement of living conditions since it creates a healthy community instead of focusing on provision of care for the sick.

An emerging or expanded role for public health or health education professionals in 2030 and beyond

In the past, the health field has had a tremendous focus on the individual health. Healthy People 2020 initiative expanded the emphasis to focus on enhancing the social and physical environments of health (CDC, 2011). The increase in the challenges towards achieving public health calls for the integration of prevention into the continuum of education as a way of trying to understand and improve health care.

Currently, the primary threats to public health include the impending threat posed by biological, chemical, and radiological terrorism, and natural calamities such as floods, fires, hurricanes, chemical spills, tornadoes, and accidents. Also, there is the increased spread of infectious diseases, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, mental illness, substance abuse problem, rampant violence and environmental threats (CDC, 2005).

Despite this knowledge being at the disposal of all public health stakeholders, there is still more to be done to ensure public health is excellent. The role of health care and health care professionals in the past, and currently has been channeled to the sick-care business (CDC, 2005). The emphasis is on provision of care to those who are already ill rather than embarking on prevention mechanisms that ensure the environment is safe. This poses the need for an emerging and expanded the role of healthcare and healthcare professionals. The emerging and expanded role for healthcare and healthcare professionals is the need to improve living conditions impacting on the community well-being.

Safeguarding the community from any kind of health threat is more beneficial and cheap than to commit resources in treatment. The idea behind this is to shift from the current health care system which is treatment-oriented into a health care system committed towards building a healthy community. It is essential to understand that health is deeply embedded in the places of living, learning, and working, thus, all health agencies have to focus their efforts towards a healthier community (Kresge Foundation, 2014). Therefore, improving such places guarantees a healthy community.

The health care system is changing as well as the disease and the environment. Increase in tsunamis, chronic diseases, and climate change necessitate for a different approach towards public health. This can be achieved through the application of innovation and strong leadership in the healthcare field. It is, therefore, necessary to expand the role of healthcare professionals to come up with a community of practice. To pursue public health to excellence, there is need to understand the community and have a shared future.

Having enlightened self-interest is crucial. It is clear that healthcare occurs at different levels and health issues do not conform to geopolitical boundaries (CDC, 2005). It is essential to appreciate that most people live in local communities hence the focus should be on them. This creates the need for the agencies to connect with the community people served. It is through this cooperation with the local community that public health will be achieved.

Similarly, the healthcare professionals have an expanded role to play in 2030 and beyond. They have to transform and shape the public health law education. This can take the form of faculty fellowship programs that promote educational innovations. This goal is achievable through the promotion of the innovative teaching of public health law nationally (Scott, 2016). The plan is viable through the creation of new curricular offerings in schools of law as well as in public health.

Besides, the healthcare professionals can build and share resources. It is practicable beyond the fellows’ home institutions via online libraries which offer an opportunity to foster model approaches not leaving behind the best practices for learning and teaching law. The professionals must also build a scenario of a dynamic and supportive community of practice while working in their institutions (Scott, 2016). Consequently, this would be a significant initiative towards ensuring personal growth and professional development consistently.

The communities of practice may be used to refer to individuals having a shared interest in their undertakings and collectively learn from each other leading to better performance as they regularly interact (Scott, 2016).  It is not just about a group of friends or a network but somewhat more formal with an identity that is shaped by the shared realm of interest. Each professional has to exercise full commitment to the domain.

The shared competence is the different element from other groups and people. Professionals need to engage in joint activities and discussions that are related to public health (Scott, 2016). This will be helpful to each as they can exchange ideas, learn new ideas together and be able to share this information to appraise future health care decisions that will solve the existing challenges. The relationship must allow learning from each other and development of a range of resources as a way of addressing the current public health problems (Scott, 2016).

Three additional goals not found in Healthy People 2020 that should be added to the Healthy People 2030.

The Healthy People is a national effort in the United States that focuses on setting goals and objectives aimed at improving the health and well-being of its people. The healthy people 2020 initiative included several overarching goals which focus on;

  • “Attaining high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death.
  • Achieving health equity, eliminating disparities, and improving the health of all groups,
  • Creation of social and physical environments that promote good health for all,
  • Promoting quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages” (CDC 2011).

However, these goals seem not to be all-inclusive in terms addressing all the health care issues facing the United States. Due to this fact, there is the need to incorporate additional goals in the Healthy People 2030 to make it all-inclusive. Through a thorough assessment of the current public health situation and a reflection on the future of the public health, I propose the following goals to be included in the Healthy People 2030.

  • Create living conditions that promote and build healthier communities
  • Promote community practice for professionals to synthesize new knowledge
  • Engage all stakeholders in formulation of policies aimed at improving public health

These proposed goals are based on the understanding of the current federal health status and the various future scenarios. The health of the population is greatly determined by the places of residence and work. Consequently, there is need to ensure that improving the living conditions of the population will lead into a healthy community. The healthy people 2030 should incorporate this goal for it become effective in addressing health concerns of the citizens. Currently, the socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health account for the highest variance in people’s health (Kresge Foundation, 2014).

While the overall health can be attributed to clinical care, there is need to increase the focus on prevention rather than care. This will help improve the living conditions that promote healthier communities. Most professionals are more focused on sick-care business. There is a need for the public health agencies and other partners to collaborate through innovation to form community health networks of professionals across the nation. The communities will be able to share best practices and strengthen the expertise of public health agencies. Engaging all stakeholders in policy formulation will help ensure that all areas of concern are addressed through the representation of each group of interest (CDC, 2005). This will ultimately lead to improved public health in the US.

Health systems, programs, and policies that might affect public health and health education in future

Public health and health education will be profoundly impacted by the type of existing health systems, programs, and policies. The effectiveness of the above mentioned will determine how the public health status will be in the future. It is vital to have a public health system characterized by shared eligibility and benefits (CDC, 2005). This means that the system should be characterized by mutuality whereby each stakeholder has a role to play and also benefits from the interaction.

Public health encompasses the whole population hence the existence of a public health system will ensure that the citizens will have an environment that supports their well-being. A conventional health care system will also promote a learning culture among professionals within the system (CDC, 2005). This will be influential in coming up with new ideas on how to improve public health.

A range of several programs can be of great importance to the future public health and education. Having a variety of programs that allow for subscription of students in matters related to public health is of great importance. There are the desire and commitment by students in issues of public health hence the need to have more programs that support such scholars. Besides, programs related to family planning, treatment of STDs, and tuberculosis offer a promising end to the future public health (CDC, 2005). These initiatives are population-based approaches and provide direct care. There is need to increase funding for training. This is applicable at the federal level for public health, as a preventive mechanism. This will improve the public health and health education.

There are also individual policies that can impact public health significantly. An example is a policy on care of aging baby boomers. The baby boomers number is expected to be at 61million by 2030 (Knickman & Snell, 2002). This number will have an overwhelming impact on public health. There will be an increased burden on health budget as increased financing of the older adults will be required leaving behind other areas with minimal amounts allocated to them.

Public policy goals concerning the aging society must have a balance of providing adequate services and transfers while ensuring favorable economic and social well-being for nonelderly population (Knickman & Snell, 2002). Another policy is the integration of health in local climate response. Public health can be viewed as an element that portrays the urgency needed to adapt to climate change and reduction of greenhouse effects (Sheehan et al., 2017).  Since climate change has recently been a major harm to the population’s health, incorporating health in climate response will help improve public health. An integrated health and climate response policy will ensure that health concerns are prioritized when addressing matters related to climate.

A summary of Strengths Finder results from Module 2

The assessment is aimed at measuring the existing patterns related to my thinking, feeling, and behaving (Gallupstrengthscenter 2017). This ultimately helps in discovering my talents. It involved several domains which include strategic thinking, executing, influencing and relationship building. They are aimed at describing how I use my abilities to work. This is about using information, making things happen, influencing others as well as building relationships.

From the assessment, I was able to get a summary of results based on the various themes. Under the strategic thinking domain themes, I can look for reasons and causes as well as think about situations, analyze the past to understand the present, inspired by the future and I inspire others with their visions, fascinated by ideas and am always determined to know more. Similarly, I am introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions, desire to learn and continuously improve, and create alternative ways to proceed.

As far as the executing domain themes, is concerned, I have a great deal of stamina, I am hardworking and I can figure out how resources can be utilized for optimal productivity.  I have a purpose defined by values, aware of the need to treat people equally, anticipate obstacles, have focus, take responsibility, and can figure out whatever is wrong and resolving

Based on the influencing domain themes, I can turn thoughts into action and make things happen, controls situations come up with decisions and am good at conversations and presentation. I also strive to win, seek to transform strong into superb, I possess an inner direction that acts as a source of confidence in viewing decisions as right, I am independent with the desire to be recognized in most cases.

Under the relationship building domain themes, I believe in links between all core issues, recognize and build others potential, sensing other people feelings, and looks for consensus. I also accept others, figure out how diverse groups can productively work together, have enthusiasm, enjoy being close to others, and work with others towards goal achievement to get satisfaction.

After reviewing all the themes under the four domains I found out that I had excellent strengths that I can build on and utilize them to support and promote public health and health education. This would be of great importance for the society since promoting health translates into a safe environment.

Using personal strengths to support and promote the field of public health or health education

The knowledge about one’s strengths from each domain in the can be beneficial to an individual. It gives insight into how one can use his or her capabilities/talents to bring about change in the immediate environment. Personally, I can use my strengths to support and promote the public health and education on health. This is possible through the use such strengths in different areas of application that help explain the status and future of public health and health education.

Based on public health, I will use all the relevant strengths to identify the best practices through the assessment of the history. This information will help in coming up with recommendations that the can be implemented to improve public health. Similarly, in the explanation of certain phenomena, it is essential to come up with a cause-effect explanation. I will use my strengths to identify what brings particular threats to the public health as well as coming up with an account of the effects of such concerns.

On the side of health education, I will use my strengths to collaborate with others and be able to create an environment of learning. This will be vital in coming up with new insights on public health and how the impending challenges can be better addressed through an innovative culture and strong leadership. Also, I will use the enthusiasm and personal direction support and promote programs that are aimed at increasing public health awareness and creation of healthier communities.

Conclusion

Public health is a fundamental duty of all agencies including federal, state and local governments. It is therefore essential to ensure that all possible efforts are made to better public health and health education. The role of public health has to profoundly focus on improving the living conditions to ensure a healthier community. Furthermore, health professionals have to go beyond practice and build communities of practice. This helps them learn from each other and come up with new knowledge of addressing the menace in public health and health education. Scholars have to use their strengths to support and promote public health and health education. Therefore, it is not a matter of choice, but the role of public health and health professional have to expand and focus more creating a healthier community rather than offering care.

References

CDC. (2005). Supplement to Managed Care: The Future Of Public Health. Retrieved 3rd November 2017 from:

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/ephli/Resources/CARE_public_health_suppl.pdf.

CDC. (2011). Healthy People – Healthy People 2020. Cdc.gov. Retrieved 3rd November 2017, from:

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/healthy_people/hp2020.htm.

Gallupstrengthscenter. (2017). The 34 Ways to Describe What You Naturally Do Best. Gallupstrengthscenter.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017, from:

https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/Home/en-US/CliftonStrengths-Themes-Domains.

Knickman, J., & Snell, E. (2002).The 2030 Problem: Caring for Aging Baby Boomers. Health Services Research, 37(4), 849-884.

Scott, C. (2016). Transforming the Future of Public Health Law Education through a Faculty Fellowship Program. Journal Of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 446-17.

Sheehan, M. C., Fox, M. A., Kaye, C., &Resnick, B. (2017). Integrating Health into Local Climate Response: Lessons from the U.S. CDC Climate-Ready States and Cities Initiative.

Environmental Health Perspectives, 1251-6.doi:10.1289/EHP1838.

The Kresge Foundation.(2014). 2030:What will public health look like in the United States?. The Kresge Foundation. Retrieved 3 November 2017, from:

https://kresge.org/news/2030-what-will-public-health-look-united-states.

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