March 30, 2012 OHA Director's messages on the web
To: All OHA employees
From: Bruce Goldberg, M.D., Director

Public Health Week

"America's health care system is in crisis precisely because we systematically neglect wellness and prevention."
~ Tom Harkin

Next week is national public health week and in Oregon we will have several events that will highlight the important role public health plays in keeping us all healthy.

As I have said many times, better health, better care and lower costs will not come just from the medical system. It will take community-based efforts that look at the health of entire populations, not just that of individuals.

To help highlight this, I will be joining public health officials in participating in several events connected to Public Health Week. One is a panel discussion about how Oregon Public Health will work to support the new Coordinated Care Organizations.

The expertise of our public health professionals in helping to prevent and mitigate chronic illness can greatly assist local CCOs as they become accountable for health outcomes. Tobacco cessation, obesity prevention and local efforts to improve health and health equity will take on an increasing importance. CCOs provide an opportunity for public health and primary health care to form strong alliances that will benefit us all.

I will also be participating in a symposium at Portland State University about the social determinant of health. Where we are born, where we live, and where we work affect our well-being and have a profound effect on health disparities among populations. Factors such as the environmental health of our community, our access to health care and the walkability of our neighborhoods all play a part. We need to be aware of these and work to address them so we can improve health and reduce disparities.

You can learn more about all the Public Health Week events on our website.

OHA on the web