Featured Resource

Basic Immunology: Nuts and Bolts of the Immune System

Dr. Anthony DeFranco explores basic immunology, looking at the cells in the immune system, what they do and how they work.


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What in the Health Is Public Health?

When you're sick, you go to the doctor and the doctor treats your disease. They've been trained to do that pretty well. But what do you do when you're healthy? Well, you probably just go about your day. You've got a busy life, we all do. And you can't afford to be sick.

So what if I told you there are people out there whose job it is to make sure you stay healthy? And what if I told you these are people you've probably never met? Well, these folks are in a field called public health. And their mission is to promote health and prevent disease. Doctors, on the other hand, are on a mission to treat disease.

So let's say this person is diagnosed with diabetes. Now it's the doctor's job to treat her patient. She'll prescribe medications and insulin to help him meet his target blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, he'll have to keep going back for prescriptions for the rest of his life because there is no cure. To make matters worse, he will have to deal with issues like long-term health complications, health insurance concerns, and even social discrimination. And don't forget his medical bill, almost fourteen thousand dollars a year. His priorities in life are now secondary to his disease. Sure, modern medicine has come a long way. But is this the best way to address disease?

Well, let's take a step back and focus on preventing disease. According to public health researchers, simple things like a healthy diet and regular exercise can help prevent the onset of diabetes. So public health folks put their health promotion and disease prevention mission to work. They lower the prices of healthier foods and beverages in school cafeterias to promote a healthy diet. And they build community sidewalks, trails, and bike lanes to promote exercise. And at a fraction of the cost of disease treatment, public health makes it really easy for people to stay healthy in the first place. No diabetes means no long-term health complications, no health insurance concerns, and no social discrimination. Just health promotion and disease prevention.

And the crazy thing is, it works. Really well. Because people you've never met, people you've never even talked to, devote their time to make sure you stay healthy.

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Beyond the Data: Childhood Immunization as a Tool to Address Health Disparities

In this month's Grand Rounds Beyond the Data, Dr. John Iskander and Marion McDonald discuss methods to further address health disparities through childhood immunizations -- Knowledge of disease outbreaks and patterns in the community; Learning the culture and language of population served; and Streamlined immunization visits.
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Epidemiology Study Types: Cohort and Case-Control

What makes a cohort vs. a case-control study? Find out in this video.
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How Well Do You Know the Flu?

Dr. Joe Bresee with CDC's Influenza Division addresses common questions and misconceptions about the flu and the flu vaccine. This video is intended for general audiences as well as health care professionals. For more information related to flu and the flu vaccine, please visit the CDC Seasonal Influenza (flu) web site at http://www.cdc.gov/flu.
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Video Focus

Community Health Impacts of Factory Farms

Steve Wing received his Ph.D. in epidemiology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is currently an associate professor. Recent work has focused on environmental injustice and health effects of ionizing radiation, industrial animal production, sewage sludge, and landfills. He has collaborated on health and exposure studies with communities and workers impacted by threats to environmental and occupational health. More.

Public Health 101

How Well Do You Know the Flu?

Dr. Joe Bresee with CDC's Influenza Division addresses common questions and misconceptions about the flu and the flu vaccine. This video is intended for general audiences as well as health care professionals. For more information related to flu and the flu vaccine, please visit the CDC Seasonal Influenza (flu) web site at http://www.cdc.gov/flu. More.

Epidemiology & BioStatistics

Epidemiology Study Types: Randomized Control Trial

What makes a randomized control trial? Find out in this video. More.

Health Behavior

Ten Distinguishing Ideas for Health Communication in the 21st Century

This presentation draws upon my book, Health Communication: From Theory to Practice, Second Edition, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley, 2013. It was given as part of a Sept. 10, 2014 Author's Night at the New York Academy of Medicine. More.

Health Services

Accountable Care: It's All About the Relationships

A keynote address by Dr. Elliot Fisher at the second annual RCRC Roundtable hosted by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice on behalf of the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management. More.

Community Health

Combating Resistance: Getting Smart About Antibiotics

Dr. John Iskander and Dr. Lauri Hicks discuss the problem of excessive and inappropriate antibiotic use and explore the actions providers, patients and public health professionals can take to promote better antibiotic use. Providers must ask themselves: Does this patient have a bacterial infection? What are the harms vs. benefits? Is this the right medication, at the right dose, for the right duration? More.

Environmental Health

Community Health Impacts of Factory Farms

Steve Wing received his Ph.D. in epidemiology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is currently an associate professor. Recent work has focused on environmental injustice and health effects of ionizing radiation, industrial animal production, sewage sludge, and landfills. He has collaborated on health and exposure studies with communities and workers impacted by threats to environmental and occupational health. More.

Global Health

Investing in Global Health Systems: Sustaining Gains, Transforming Lives

Health and life expectancy in poor countries have improved rapidly over a short time, contributing to a more prosperous, stable, and productive world. The United States has been a part of this success and therefore has an interest in protecting the health gains of the past few decades. In addition, the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has drawn attention to the consequences of neglecting health systems development, as a strong health system allows for prompt response to pandemic threats and draws on the same skills and infrastructure that support routine health care. Vulnerabilities in this system pose financial, political, and health risks to developing countries and, in a larger sense, to the world.

An IOM study looked at how health systems improvements can lead to better health, reduce poverty, and make donor investment in health sustainable. The resulting report stresses the importance of the health system in making transformative investments that support health in developing countries, and outlines a broad donor strategy that can make effective use of the United States’ comparative advantage in science and technology to improve health for the world’s most vulnerable people. For more information, click here.
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