Saturday, November 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Jonathan Purtle

The 'Drunkometer' and its descendants: Tools of public health

Monday, February 3, 2014, 5:30 AM
A law is only as good as the ability to enforce it. Drunk driving is major cause of disability and premature mortality in the U.S., with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that alcohol-impaired driving is responsible for about 10,000 deaths annually. For this reason, driving... Read more

How long can your baby expect to live?

Friday, January 17, 2014, 6:30 AM
By mid-January, a pile of “Year in Review” magazines has accumulated beneath my coffee table. These dog-eared retrospectives all contain stories of a similar sort: famous people who died in 2013. The close of the calendar is a fitting time to reflect on icons who have departed, but what... Read more

Sleeping your way into a healthy new year

Thursday, January 2, 2014, 6:30 AM
I stayed up late working the other night (no, not New Year’s Eve) and didn’t sleep enough. The next day I felt irritable and had trouble concentrating as a result. Can you relate? In some ways, sleep deprivation is a celebrated American ideal: we admire those who burn the “midnight... Read more

How I explained public health to my relatives

Monday, December 2, 2013, 6:30 AM
I brought this picture of a triangle to Thanksgiving this year. It helped me explain what public health is to distant relatives who don’t understand what I’m going to school for. I struggle to articulate it every year, so this time I relied on the aid of a diagram developed by a seasoned... Read more

Changing the rules of PTSD

Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 6:00 AM
Last week, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies had its annual meeting in Philadelphia. I was there, and discussions abound about “Criterion A.” Contrary to what its name might suggest, Criterion A is not a vitamin, nor is it a short-course bicycle race. Criterion A defines... Read more

Meatless Mondays . . . in the land of the Philly Cheesesteak?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 12:19 PM
“Tempeh Whiz wit'!” “Vegan cheesesteak!’’ Will these words soon be part of the cacophony of sizzling onion and clanking steel that echoes between Pat’s and Geno’s? Probably not, but recent activity in Philadelphia’s City Council indicates that this may... Read more

Werner Herzog makes texting and driving up front and personal

Thursday, August 22, 2013, 6:30 AM
As we discussed in a post last summer, texting while driving is illegal and unsafe—and most people know it but still do it. We concluded that a moral appeal was needed to change the norms around texting and driving. Acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog has answered our call. From One Second to... Read more

Booze / Local / Dollars / Billions / Pockets / YOURS /

Thursday, August 15, 2013, 11:36 PM
Two years ago, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine published results of a study that estimated how much money excessive alcohol consumption costs the United States each year. The tab came to $223.5 billion—a sobering statistic. While a national estimate can inform federal funding decisions... Read more

Look out for grill bristles!

Friday, July 5, 2013, 9:30 AM
We write about a lot of complex issues here at The Public’s Health. Issues that seem intractable, such as implicit racial bias and poverty. Issues that are ethically challenging, such as organ donation. Issues that have serious implications for future generations, such as climate change and fracking... Read more

‘Railway spine’? ‘Soldier’s heart’? Try ‘PTSD.’

Friday, June 21, 2013, 12:47 PM
June is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) awareness month. Sure, there are months for almost every medical condition imaginable. But this month’s designation, which came about after Congress named June 27th national PTSD awareness day just last year, is a symbolic milestone in the mental... 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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