We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Contemporary Public Health

Principles, Practice, and Policy

edited by James W. Holsinger Jr.. foreword by David M. Lawrence

Publication Year: 2012

Public health refers to the management and prevention of disease within a population by promoting healthy behaviors and environments in an effort to create a higher standard of living. In this comprehensive volume, editor James W. Holsinger Jr. and an esteemed group of scholars and practitioners offer a concise overview of this burgeoning field, emphasizing that the need for effective services has never been greater.

Designed as a supplemental text for introductory courses in public health practice at the undergraduate and graduate levels, Contemporary Public Health provides historical background that contextualizes the current state of the field and explores the major issues practitioners face today. It addresses essential topics such as the social and ecological determinants of health and their impact on practice, marginalized populations, the role of community-oriented primary care, the importance of services and systems research, accreditation, and the organizational landscape of the American public health system. Finally, it examines international public health and explores the potential of systems based on multilevel partnerships of government, academic, and nonprofit organizations.

With fresh historical and methodological analyses conducted by an impressive group of distinguished authors, this text is an essential resource for practitioners, health advocates, and students.

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (117.5 KB)

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (47.3 KB)
pp. vii-x

F. Douglas Scutchfield was born and reared in Eastern Kentucky. His early years in Appalachia have had a lasting influence on his life and work, resulting in a lifelong passion for the health of Kentuckians and medically underserved Americans. He graduated with distinction from Eastern Kentucky University in 1962, where he met and married Phyllis and where he received an honorary ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (26.4 KB)
pp. xi-xii

Years ago, during a sabbatical from the School of Public Health he founded at San Diego State University, Doug Scutchfield joined our family for dinner one evening. At the time, our children were of an age when they considered adults to be uninformed and uninteresting. Listening to old fogies tell war stories was not high on their lists of favorite things to do. ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (38.4 KB)
pp. xiii-xiv

read more

Introduction: History and Context of Public Health Care

pdf iconDownload PDF (126.7 KB)
pp. 1-24

The history of public health in the United States demonstrates cycles of action and inaction, funding and a lack thereof. From its inception in 1798 until the post–September 11, 2001, period, the development of public health, ac- cording to Fee and Brown, has been “consistently plagued by organizational ...

read more

1. The Social and Ecological Determinants of Health

pdf iconDownload PDF (390.7 KB)
pp. 25-46

In 2003 the landmark report Unequal Treatment drew the nation’s attention to disparities in the way health care is delivered to racial or ethnic minority groups.1 Studies had documented that patients with similar clinical presentations but different races or ethnicities received different clinical recommendations and different levels of clinical care. ...

read more

2. The Health of Marginalized Populations

pdf iconDownload PDF (100.8 KB)
pp. 47-62

The United States: Pockets of Health Inequity
The health status of the United States as a whole can be described as reasonably poor relative to other industrial nations. Evidence suggests that, while the United States ranks first among all countries in health care spending, it ranks thirty-sixth in life expectancy, thirty-ninth in infant mortality, forty-second in adult male mortality, and forty-third in adult female mortality.1 ...

read more

3. Public Health Workforce and Education in the United States

pdf iconDownload PDF (242.6 KB)
pp. 63-84

The public health workforce is a highly diverse collection of personnel representing multiple disciplines with a wide variety of career paths and employment settings, numerous types of formal and informal training, and a broad range of job functions. In the United States formal education in public health is offered by schools of public health, master’s degree programs, ...

read more

4. The Role of Community-Oriented Primary Care in Improving Health Care

pdf iconDownload PDF (209.9 KB)
pp. 85-102

Over the last few decades, there has been a growing interest in the relationship of primary care to the health of communities. Several factors have contributed to this movement. First, there is increasing awareness that although the United States spends a greater proportion of its national budget on health care than any other country, Americans’ health lags significantly behind that of residents ...

read more

5. Who Is the Public in Public Health?

pdf iconDownload PDF (125.6 KB)
pp. 103-128

Public health is a common term, but few individuals think about its meaning. People understand that the health portion of the term includes immunizations, restaurant inspections, and water quality reports. The public portion of the term encompasses everyone—all Americans—and anything that is for the good of all. ...

read more

6. Public Health Services and Systems Research: Building the Science of Public Health Practice

pdf iconDownload PDF (312.3 KB)
pp. 129-154

Despite spending far more resources on health care than any other nation on earth, the United States continues to lag behind many other industrialized nations in population health outcomes ranging from life expectancy at birth and infant mortality to the incidence of preventable chronic diseases.1 Although many factors contribute to this gap between investment and outcome, ...

read more

7. National Accreditation of Public Health Departments

pdf iconDownload PDF (102.5 KB)
pp. 155-170

In September 2011 the first national public health department accreditation program opened its doors for business. The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), chartered in May 2007, officially accomplished something first suggested in 1850. That year, Report of the Sanitary Commission of Massachusetts (the Shattuck Report) ...

read more

8. Contemporary Issues in Scientific Communication and Public Health Education

pdf iconDownload PDF (158.7 KB)
pp. 171-192

This chapter addresses both the long tradition of and the rapidly changing environment for communicating information that is essential to public health and preventive medicine research, policy, and practice. As editors of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, we deal with this on a daily basis. But we rarely have the opportunity to step back and reflect on the process of our work,

read more

9. Partnerships in Public Health: Working Together for a Mutual Benefit

pdf iconDownload PDF (98.3 KB)
pp. 193-204

For a clinician, providing comprehensive health care to an individual patient is complex and challenging, and it normally requires a wide variety of clinical disciplines over the individual’s lifetime. The growth in clinical specialties and even subspecialties over the years, along with the development of an evolving cadre of support disciplines, ...

read more

10. The Organizational Landscape of the American Public Health System

pdf iconDownload PDF (215.2 KB)
pp. 205-226

Public health is practiced in the United States through the collective actions of governmental and private organizations that vary widely in their resources, missions, and operations.1–3 Governmental public health agencies play central roles in these delivery systems, but most of them rely heavily on their ability to inform, influence, communicate, ...

read more

11. International Lessons for the United States on Helath, Health Care, and Health Policy

pdf iconDownload PDF (406.0 KB)
pp. 227-250

For many years, health care has been significantly more costly in the United States than in other countries. Nonetheless, overall U.S. health system performance and population outcomes often fall short of achievements in other countries.1–3 Among sixteen member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), ...

read more

Conclusion: Future of Public Health

pdf iconDownload PDF (142.9 KB)
pp. 251-276

It should be clear to readers that both the health of the public and the discipline and practice of public health in the United States are evolving rapidly. Measures of health status have, with some important exceptions, shown steady improvement since the beginning of the twentieth century. ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (69.7 KB)
pp. 277-282


pdf iconDownload PDF (67.5 KB)
pp. 283-296

E-ISBN-13: 9780813141244
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813141237

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2012