Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Public Health
Board: Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice

Activity Description

The 1988 IOM report, The Future of Public Health, proclaimed public health to be in disarray and prompted national discussion about the status of public health and steps necessary to strengthen its role. Since then, much has changed in the practice of public health improvement, in those participating in the work of building healthier communities, and in concepts of research and action in public health. While significant progress has been made within the public health community, the wider environment in which public health is practiced is undergoing radical transformation. While the public health system may no longer be in disarray, it is struggling to survive in a rapidly changing milieu of demands, expectations, opportunities and resources.

In recognition of these new challenges, the IOM conducted an 18-month DHHS interagency-sponsored study that considered how best to assure the health of the public in the 21st century. The overarching goal of the study was to describe a new, more inclusive framework for assuring population-level health that can be effectively communicated to and acted upon by diverse communities.

Additionally, the Committee's report made recommendations for research and practice, and collaborate with others to support implementation of these recommendations by relevant public, private and non-profit sectors at the federal, state and local levels.

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