Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top 3 Public Health News of 2009

This year public health undeniably became a part of our national consciousness. In order to ring in the New Year and reflect on the past year at Veritas Health, I've highlighted below what I believe to be the top three issues in public health of 2009. For those interested, the headlines link to my previous posts on the topic.

  1. Swine Flu Pandemic - the outbreak of a new flu strain (a.k.a. Swine Flu or H1N1) in Mexico prompted swift response from the US and countries around the world. Efforts to control the spread of the virus and prevent massive casualties were pretty successful and vaccinations were developed quickly and disseminated across the world to protect those most vulnerable. 

  2. Health Care Reform Becomes a National Priority - Congress and President Obama made sure to put health care reform on the national agenda early. Town hall meetings in August highlighted American discontent and frustration with the politics of Washington as well as the pervasive misunderstanding of how health care in our country works (for many, it doesn't) and what role the government can and should play in making sure basic, affordable care is available to all. While health care reform conversations will continue into 2010, the passage of some health care bill seems increasingly likely in the near future. It's impact on our nation's health -- TBD.

  3. Communities & States Step Up to Fight Obesity - Battles are being waged across the country in schools and communities to prevent obesity by changing the environments that we live in to promote healthier foods and make a healthy lifestyle the convenient and affordable one! These changes include increasing fresh fruits and vegetables in schools through Farm to School programs, removing junk food from school grounds and vending machines, increasing the number of Farmer's Markets and allowing the purchase of foods from farmer's markets with Food Stamps to be matched 2:1. Passage and implementation of menu labeling laws from New York City to California will also help states and cities fight obesity through improved consumer awareness! maybe that third one makes my list because that's what I'm most interested in and passionate about. Given that, I'd like to hear from my VH readers.

What makes your list of the most important public health news or issues from 2009?

Happy New Year!

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