Five Major Public Health Initiatives to Watch in 2022
Public health plays an essential role for all people around the world. Public Health Initiatives is a field dedicated to improving the wellbeing of individuals, communities, organizations and entire populations. Public health professionals can step in when there are threats or new research findings within their field; they may help create vaccines or support major campaigns with healthcare access improvements; they make significant strides towards improving people’s lives through various initiatives currently impacting American public health; there are plenty of ways you can get involved! With so many current projects impacting our nation’s public health in important ways, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved!
Are you considering a career in public health? Here are five major initiatives that will shape America’s healthcare landscape by 2022 and how you can make a difference today.
Climate Change and Its Public Health Implications
The American Public Health Association (APHA), a non-profit organization, has identified climate change as one of its top advocacy priorities for the year.
Climate change will continue to heighten the risk of disease and death. America must take immediate steps to safeguard and prepare their public health system, particularly those in vulnerable areas.
President Biden declared during National Public Health Week that “we must make transformal investments in our climate resilience” and continue to address dangerous environment injustices which threaten public health and have disproportionately harmed communities of color.”
Racial equity should be further promoted and deepened.
In November 2020, the American Medical Association declared racism to be a serious threat to public health. A fact sheet on health disparities based on race and ethnicity published that same year confirmed race is an important factor in health coverage, conditions, and death causes. In April 2021, CDC director Thomas Frieden declared racism “serious threat to public health,” and by August 2021 37 states had declared it as an emergency issue.
In 2022, The Kaiser Family Foundation reported that COVID-19 prevalence among American Indians, Alaskan Natives and Blacks was twice as high as among whites.
President Biden declared in his Proclamation for National Public Health Week: “We must take common-sense steps to address gun violence epidemic that disproportionately impacts Black Americans.”
Racial inequalities are caused by socioeconomic factors like food insecurity, housing instability and other pressures on families. The American Public Health Association 2022 focused on eliminating police violence and increasing voting access; their agenda stated that racism must be addressed as both a driving force behind social determinants of health (like housing, education and employment opportunities) as well as an origin factor of disparate outcomes for communities of color.
Makeover Your Mental Health Opportunities
In his State of the Union Address, Vice President Biden made a proposal.
Access mental health support at schools, colleges, universities
Veterans have improved access to mental health care.
Integrate mental health and treatment for substance abuse into primary care settings
Invest in research about the psychological effects of social media use.
The American Rescue Plan offers you the unique ability to launch a 988 hotline for mental health emergencies, provide support to local crisis calls and create mobile response teams.
We strive to deliver outstanding patient care.
The American Hospital Association’s advocacy agenda focused on “protecting patients’ coverage and access to care”. They called for veterans to receive comprehensive community health services, as well as “metropolitan hospitals” that offer essential health care to the most marginalized.
In its memo, the AHA also advocated for making certain aspects of telehealth permanent — such as providing appropriate outpatient care, increasing practitioners who provide telehealth services, creating rural clinics in remote locations and increasing access to remote health professionals.
President Biden also stressed the need for greater access to virtual mental healthcare options in a White House statement.
The briefing room stated that “it is essential that we create better pathways to care and make access as seamless as possible for Americans who have behavioral health needs to access resources that will enhance their wellbeing.”
Promoting Health Care Professionals
Are you interested in supporting health care professionals? Check out these opportunities.
In their 2022 Advocacy Agenda, the American Hospital Association demonstrated their support of healthcare workers through apprenticeship programs and scholarships.
In his State of the Union Address, President Biden also supported Dr. Lorna Brougher Health Care Provider Protect Act. This awareness campaign seeks to reduce stigma surrounding mental health issues and promote self-care and help-seeking within the profession.
The American Public Health Association recently authorized a loan repayment and forgiving program for public-health professionals who have worked two years at an area, state, or tribal health department.
Motivate yourself to get inspired and make a real impact.
Public health has many challenges that need solving, offering plenty of career options for those who are data driven, curious and career oriented. If this sounds like you, then public health could be the perfect career choice for you!
Postsecondary degrees are necessary for most careers in public healthcare, with master’s degrees required for advanced professionals such as epidemiologists and biostatisticians. A bachelor’s degree in Public Health can be earned by community health educators, advocates, and health promotion specialists.
Flexible public health degree programs enable working professionals to continue their careers and study when it’s most convenient. There are plenty of career prospects that will allow you to make an impact, whether you pursue a bachelor’s or master’s in Public Health.