Wednesday, February 10, 2016


How committed are we to improving our nation’s mental health?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016, 6:30 AM
In this season of New Year’s resolutions, perhaps we should resolve to improve things for the nearly 20% of Americans who experience mental illnesses and the more than 8% with substance use disorders. Mental illnesses are as disabling as cardiovascular diseases and cancers, and may be just as... Read more

Another life destroyed – almost – by allegedly reckless prescribing

Friday, October 23, 2015, 11:06 AM
A Philadelphia Inquirer story published on last weekend about three men who died of drug addictions – and the physician whom their families allege got them hooked – has drawn a lively online discussion as well as heartrending emails from other parents who lost their children... Read more

Feds to expand access to opioid treatment

Friday, September 18, 2015, 4:45 PM
The federal government will move to increase access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence by relaxing limits on prescribing buprenorphine, one of the few – and vastly under-used – evidence-based treatments for a disorder that has reached epidemic proportions. Health and... Read more

Epidemic: heroin addiction … again. What will it take this time?

Monday, August 17, 2015, 6:30 AM
Last month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that our country is facing a major public health epidemic. Hint: it isn’t Ebola or SARS. And it isn’t avian flu or any of the other scary sounding public health threats that so often raise alarm bells in the media. What... Read more

Philadelphia succeeds without 'asylums'

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 6:30 AM
This is one in a mini-series of posts about the state of mental health care in America, and how to fix it. As far as health issues go, matters of behavioral health present unique challenges, both for those struggling with disorders and for the broader community as well. The majority of people with... Read more

Smoking and the Oscars: A Scary Movie

Sunday, February 22, 2015, 8:00 AM
Something to ponder on Academy Awards night: 57 percent of Oscar-nominated movies include tobacco imagery. That’s actually the lowest in several years, according to a post by Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who provides a fascinating spreadsheet... Read more

Tobaccoism: “Rapidity in the spread of a disease-producing vice”

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 5:30 AM
This post is part of an exchange between The Public's Health and “Books, Health, and History,” a blog at the New York Academy of Medicine. The third Thursday of November was designated the Great American Smokeout back in 1976. Since then it has gained national attention and helped precipitate... Read more

Preventing drug deaths in Pa.: moving forward, too slowly

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 6:30 AM
Over the past few months the Pennsylvania legislature has taken some important steps forward in addressing the burgeoning epidemic of opioid overdoses in this state. But before we start applauding – let’s take a moment to review where we are, what the legislation will and will not do, and... Read more

Smoking chocolate

Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 6:30 AM
A report released Monday (the executive summary is here) by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids reminds us that the fight against tobacco and the companies that sell tobacco products goes on despite some successes. As if smoking wasn’t deadly enough, the report calls attention to changes to cigarettes... Read more

What are 'adverse childhood experiences'? Ask Philadelphia residents

Friday, June 20, 2014, 6:30 AM
We’ve written a lot about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study and the health risks that arise when children experience toxic stress. The original ACE study was conducted with a predominantly white, middle-class population of adults in California and found a strong relationship between... Read more
About this blog

What is public health — and why does it matter?

Through prevention, education, and intervention, public health practitioners - epidemiologists, health policy experts, municipal workers, environmental health scientists - work to keep us healthy.

It’s not always easy. Michael Yudell, Jonathan Purtle, and other contributors tell you why.

Michael Yudell, PhD, MPH Associate Professor, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University
Jonathan Purtle, DrPH, MSc Assistant Professor, Drexel University School of Public Health
Janet Golden, PhD Professor of history, Rutgers University-Camden
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