Five Major Public Health Initiatives to Be Launched in 2022
Public health is an integral part of people’s lives around the world. This field strives to promote and protect people’s wellbeing, communities and organizations. Public health professionals are responsible for intervening when threats to public safety or new research emerges in this field; developing vaccines or encouraging major campaigns and increasing access to healthcare. There are many current initiatives affecting national wellbeing – and ways you can get involved! If interested, here are five major public health initiatives for 2022 in America that you should know about: influence positive change today by learning about five important initiatives!
Climate Change’s Health Effects on Public Health
The American Public Health Association (APHA) has named climate change one of their top advocacy priorities for this year.
As climate change accelerates, so too must disease and death rates. America must take immediate action to safeguard vulnerable communities and prepare public health systems for this shift.
President Biden issued a Proclamation to recognize National Public Health Week and stressed the need for “radical investments in climate resilience and to continue combatting dangerous environmental injustices, which threaten public and health, particularly among communities of color.”
Expand Racial Equity
The American Medical Association declared racism a serious public safety threat in November 2020. A fact sheet published that same year by the Association on health inequalities by race/ethnicity confirmed that race was an important factor when it came to health coverage, mental health care and other causes of death. In April 2021 the director of CDC designated racism a “serious health hazard”, followed by 37 states declaring racism a national health emergency in August 2021.
According to data released by Kaiser Family Foundation in 2022, COVID-19 deaths among American Indians (Alaska Natives), Blacks, Latinos and Blacks were twice as high as those among whites.
President Biden declared during National Public Health Week that “we must take practical steps to address the epidemic of gun violence which disproportionately impacts Black Americans.”
Racial health disparities can also be linked to socioeconomic factors like housing instability and food insecurity. The 2022 advocacy plan of the American Public Health Association highlighted the necessity of eliminating police violence and expanding voting access. According to their agenda, racism must be tackled as both a driving factor in social determinants of health (like education, housing, and employment) as well as being the root cause of disparate outcomes within communities of color.
Enhance Mental Health Through Opportunity
Biden unveiled his plans to:
Mental health support should be expanded in schools and colleges
Access to mental health care for veterans should also be increased
Incorporate substance use treatment into primary care settings
Invest in research to uncover the mental health risks associated with social media usage.
Launch a 988 mental health crisis hotline to respond to local calls. Establish mobile response teams and other mental health strategies through the American Rescue Plan.
Welcome to an Outstanding Patient Care Experience
The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) advocacy agenda prioritizes protecting patients’ access and coverage. They advocated for comprehensive community care for veterans as well as “metropolitan Anchor Hospitals,” which provide essential health care and social services to marginalized populations.
The AHA memo also recommended that certain aspects of Telehealth should be made permanent, such as expanding providers who can offer these services and creating rural health clinics to serve as remote sites.
In a White House unity statement, Biden underscored the significance of expanding access to virtual mental health services.
The briefing room stressed the significance of creating better care pathways and making it as straightforward for Americans with behavioral healthcare needs to access resources that can enhance their wellbeing.
Promoting Health Care Professionals
Does your organization strive to promote health care professionals? Absolutely!
In their 2022 Advocacy Agenda, the American Hospital Association expressed their support for health care workers by supporting apprenticeship programs and organizations offering scholarships.
At his State of the Union Address, President Biden also supported Dr. Lorna-Breen Health Care Providers Protection Act – an awareness campaign to combat mental health stigmatization. Additionally, he advocated for self-care and help-seeking within this field.
Additionally, the American Public Health Association endorsed a loan repayment/forgiveness program for public health practitioners who spend two years practicing in either local or state health departments.
Motivation to inspire and make an impact
There is always room for more hands to help address public health challenges. Now is an opportunement to pursue a career in public health initiatives if you possess data-driven aptitude, an inquisitive nature and are career-focused.
Postsecondary education is necessary for many careers in public health. Professionals such as biostatisticians and epidemiologists require master’s degrees, while community health educators, health promotion experts, and advocates may all hold a bachelor’s degree.
Flexible programs in public health offer students who are working while also studying the flexibility to pursue their career objectives when it suits them best. No matter what level of your degree you hold, there are endless opportunities for professional advancement available to you – no matter what stage in the process!