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ALTHOUGH THERE’S ALWAYS MORE TO LEARN, we already know a great deal about what it takes to promote health among individuals and in communities. We know that education, equality and economic opportunity are critical determinants of health. We know the necessity of clean and safe environments. We know about the importance of diet, regular exercise, and obtaining appropriate immunizations and screenings.
But knowledge doesn’t automatically mean impact. Worldwide, 15,000 children under the age of 5 die each day, more than half of them from conditions that could be prevented or treated with simple, affordable interventions. Among adults, the majority of deaths are linked to chronic diseases, fueled by addressable factors such as high blood pressure, smoking and physical inactivity. In the U.S., one of the world’s wealthiest countries, millions continue to lack access to quality, affordable health care.
In public health, our focus is not just on discovering what can improve health, but on collaborating with partners to develop and implement programs and policies that will help people lead healthier lives. At the Fielding School, moving from evidence to impact at scale is core to our mission, priorities and efforts. In this issue you will read about some of the many ways that we are succeeding.
Jody Heymann, MD, PhD