Saturday, September 20, 2014
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History

Visiting public health history: Ellis Island

Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 6:30 AM
Twelve million people passed through the Ellis Island, New York’s immigration station between 1892 and 1954. Before entering the United States, third-class passengers underwent a visual medical inspection by officers of the United States Public Health Service. The woman in the image above is having... Read more

The link between felon disenfranchisement, politics, and health

Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 6:30 AM
Consider two things: - Life expectancy at birth for an African American male born in Philadelphia is 7.6 years shorter than a white male (67.5 years vs. 75.1). - About 13% of African American men in the United States are prohibited from voting compared to 2.5% of the general voting age... Read more

What is a diagnosis? A cause, not a victim.

Thursday, June 5, 2014, 6:30 AM
Viewing the HBO movie “The Normal Heart” – showing again Sunday and next Thursday and Friday – brings you vividly back to the beginning of HIV/AIDS in New York City in the early 1980s. People are struggling with a deadly illness that had no identified cause, a range of symptoms... Read more

World No Tobacco Day: A brief review

Saturday, May 31, 2014, 12:21 AM
It was a half-century ago that the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health alerted Americans to the risks of smoking. You can read the entire document here. The report's history is a featured exhibit at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. Did you know that... Read more

Antibiotic resistance: A global threat

Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 6:30 AM
The World Health Organization last month released a detailed report warning about antimicrobial resistance as a global trend. Even the press release is scary. The modern antibiotic era began in the 1930s with the development of the first sulfa drugs, which inhibited bacterial growth, and blossomed... Read more

Correlation without causation: The lesson of the Lazaretto

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 6:30 AM
The pandemic of the moment is MERS: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. This mysterious, untreatable illness—which kills nearly a third of those who catch it—entered the U.S. for the first time in late April. A second imported case was confirmed this week in Florida. Last month it was Ebola... Read more

Conquering polio: Past, present ... and future

Monday, May 5, 2014, 8:21 PM
Sixty years ago, a field test of what would become the first polio vaccine got under way in the United States, enrolling 1.8 million children in the largest clinical trial in history. Over 600,000 young volunteers received injections of the brand new Salk vaccine... Read more

Government-sponsored health care's success (in World War II)

Monday, April 21, 2014, 6:30 AM
In 1943, the United States government began paying for medical, nursing, and hospital maternity and infant care provided to the wives of enlisted men in the lowest four military pay grades. The Emergency Maternity and Infant Care Act, known as EMIC, funded the care of about 1-1/2 million women and infants... Read more

Visualizing Philadelphia's public health nurses at work: A century of photos

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 6:30 AM
For more than a century, nurses have served as the cornerstone of public health efforts in this country. Most Americans at some point in their lives have had contact with a public health nurse. It’s hard to live for very long without meeting one. Remember the school nurse who made sure your vaccinations... Read more

Death certificates: classifying the dead to save the living

Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 6:30 AM
Why do we die? The question is existential, scientific, and spiritual at the very least. It’s also bureaucratic. Like voter registration cards and driver’s licenses, death certificates relegate the cause of our physical demise to a discrete category that becomes a single data point in... 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, Drexel University School of Public Health
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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