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Key milestone of the last 100 years.

Public health is what our society does collectively to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy. Because public health success in prevention and protection often is invisible to the society it serves, its value is hidden. The exhibition "Milestones in Public Health: Accomplishments in Public Health Over the Last 100 Years," based on a book of the same name, highlights how public health is fundamental to the well-being of our nation and is at the center of every family and community.

The exhibition "celebrates the discoveries, solutions, and innovations in public health over the last century. More importantly, it showcases the manner in which complex public health challenges were addressed through the creative thinking and expert problem-solving skills of key individuals and institutions," explains Barbara A. DeBuono, senior medical director of Pfizer, Inc. "Public health problems are best solved when science, policy, politics, and the media converge to construct the best solution and make a difference. We hope that the [exhibition] will serve as a useful tool for public health students and professors in provoking thoughtful discussion and exploration of how public health challenges are met and continue to evolve. Mostly, we hope [it] will inspire a new generation of public health professionals."

The exhibition is broken down into the following categories: Addiction; Automotive Safety; Cancer; Cardiovascular Disease; Environmental Health; Food Safety; Infectious Disease Control; Maternal and Child Health; Oral Health; Vaccines; and Public Health Infrastructure.

"Milestones" celebrates innovative solutions to public health challenges and the people and institutions that have implemented them. It seeks to reinforce a core trait of public health, namely that success redefines the challenge. Advances in disease prevention and treatment often result in the public health community facing a new generation of challenges. For instance, the development of penicillin, which changed the treatment of infectious disease in the last century, has led to concerns about antibiotic resistance in the 21st century--an issue that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, is addressing energetically.

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The topics covered in "Milestones in Public Health" have been sourced, in part, from the CDC's "10 Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century," as well as input from nationally recognized public health specialists. The exhibit showcases "real life" examples of public health milestones by summarizing their history, selecting a case for in-depth review, and another for a more focused presentation, and finally directing people to think about the challenges that lay ahead in each of these areas.

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"It is certainly true that public health always faces new challenges," comments David Satcher, former Surgeon General and president of the Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta. "However, embedded within these challenges are also new opportunities. Public health is challenged to improve communication and to become more visible while developing new partnerships with--and in--the communities. Through these partnerships, the opportunity to better impact the all-important social determinants of health is real and tremendous."

"Milestones in Public Health" is on view at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Oct. 5-8, and Ohio State University, Columbus, Oct. 24-31.

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Title Annotation:Public Health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Words:510
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