Washington, D.C., April 2, 2009
– The American Public Health Association (APHA) today released its Agenda for Health Reform in anticipation of next week’s 2009 observance of National Public Health Week (April 6-12).
With a goal of helping the United States to become the healthiest nation in one generation, the APHA Agenda for Health Reform highlights the most critical changes we must make to improve the public’s health, based on longstanding APHA policies, as well as the best current evidence.
“Since the early 1900s, APHA has advocated for universal coverage for health care as an essential step in improving the health of our nation,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “However, to fully reach our potential as a nation, we must do more. Health reform must also encompass the principles of public health and address the various socio-economic forces that impact health, while also shifting from a focus of treating illness to one of prevention.”
The APHA Agenda for Health Reform calls on the administration and Congress to think broadly about how to improve health in our nation. It asks leaders to:
1) Support population-based services that improve health. These programs deliver resources to the whole community and are proven to realize a more positive health impact than do individual interventions alone. They can target root causes of disease, disability and health disparities and can help achieve increased value for our health dollar.
2) Reform health care coverage and delivery. We must ensure coverage for quality, affordable health care for all. This means covering the more than 46 million uninsured, and improving the quality and safety of the health care system, including building a modern health information infrastructure.
Download the APHA Agenda for Health Reform to read more about APHA’s specific policy suggestions.
“With this year’s National Public Health Week observance focusing on building the foundation for a healthy America, now is the perfect time for APHA to make a case for the role that public health must play in health reform,” said Linda Landesman, DrPH, MSW, chair of the APHA Executive Board. “The agenda establishes the importance of a holistic approach to health reform and provides a framework for moving forward.”
To learn more about National Public Health Week 2009, please visit www.nphw.org.