Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Jonathan Purtle

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

Can flu cause mental illness?

Thursday, May 23, 2013, 6:30 AM
In a Psych. 101 class many years ago, I remember learning that some mental disorders were more common among people born in winter and spring. The reason was unclear. I pretty much forgot about this interesting factoid until reading about a recent study that found evidence of a link between some... Read more

Am I racist?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:36 AM
According to an online test developed by Harvard psychologists, I have a moderate preference toward white people. I—a liberal white male who deeply cares about racial equity—was quicker to assign positive words (e.g., joy, love, peace) to faces of white people and negative words (e.g.... 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, MPH Research Director, Drexel Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice
Janet Golden, PhD Professor of history, Rutgers University-Camden
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