Epilogue: Public Health at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century

Jeffrey P. Koplan and Stephen B. Thacker

in Silent Victories

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195150698
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865185 | DOI:
 Epilogue: Public Health at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century

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In the 21st century, trends in demographics, climate, globalization, and technology will alter the social fabric of the United States and the world with tremendous implications for health. To position the nation for the century ahead, the country's medical, scientific, and public health leaders must devote attention and resources to at least ten tasks: 1) develop a rational and equitable approach to public health and clinical care; 2) eliminate health disparities among racial and ethnic populations; 3) focus on child development; 4) meet demands of an aging population; 5) modify lifestyles including eating and physical activity; 6) protect the environment; 7) respond to emerging infectious pathogens; 8) promote mental health; 9) prevent violence; and 10) harness new science and technology to benefit health. In the 21st century, the causes of morbidity and mortality are likely to change; public health institutions must identify and anticipate these changes through excellent science and effective practice.

Keywords: public health; 21st century; environmental protection; mental health; aging; health disparities; physical activity; violence prevention; health care reform; child development

Chapter.  2882 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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