The national Public Health Prevention Plan was released last week, with a clear emphasis on the critical contributors to health. The 4 broad strategic directions for the plan are:
- Building healthy and safe community environments,
- Expanding quality preventive services in both clinical and community settings,
- Empowering people to make healthy choices, and
- Eliminating health disparities.
This groundbreaking plan emphasizes a Public Health approach, promoting health by focusing on stopping disease before it starts. The plan reflects what many studies have shown: that good health also comes from clean air and water, safe outdoor spaces for physical activity, safe worksites, healthy foods, violence-free environments and healthy homes. Everyone—businesses, educators, health care institutions, government, communities and every single American—has a role in creating a healthier nation.
For every dollar spent on prevention, there is a five-to-one return on investment in just 5 years. Seven of ten deaths among Americans each year are caused by chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. These same chronic diseases account for more than 75% of our nation’s health care spending. Does public health prevention sound like a wise investment to you?