Public Health Programs and Their Limitations

While it’s often desirable to see the world free of disease, public health programs have their limits. Although moral outrage and political activism may suggest that “everything” should be done to save lives, programs must have practical limitations. Resources, institutional capacity, and human and financial resources are just a few examples of these limitations. In addition, the social, political, and economic forces that affect health care systems also play a role. Listed below are some of the key principles of effective public health programs.

The Basic Health Program (BHP) is a federally funded health insurance program that provides coverage to those who don’t qualify for insurance through private insurers. It covers low-income residents who earn between 133 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Non-citizens with incomes under 133 percent of FPL can also enroll. While the federal government is hesitant to directly fund community health programs, many communities have implemented these programs to provide affordable coverage to individuals who might otherwise be unable to afford it.

The Health Project identifies and evaluates high-impact employer-sponsored health promotion programs that can reduce healthcare costs. This database is continuously updated and enhanced with every C. Everett Koop Award. The Health Project’s administrative home is the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies. Its mission is to create health programs that help people achieve their personal health and wellness goals. The health benefits of a healthy workplace are many and lasting. In addition to reducing healthcare costs, wellness programs promote health.

Developing and implementing a health education program requires a multidisciplinary approach. Educators educate patients about the importance of eating well, getting regular exercise, and limiting risky behaviors. Many health programs employ audiovisual and computer-based support to teach patients about oral health. The Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center and San Luis Valley Area Health Education Center both implement oral health education programs. Community health workers can deliver health education to the target population. For example, a community health worker might conduct a community health education program or deliver a grant to help fund the program.

The most effective public health programs are based on an evidence-based technical package, which includes a series of related interventions that achieve substantial improvements in a single risk factor or disease outcome. This avoids a scattershot approach, in which dozens of interventions have only a marginal impact. For example, a program aimed at improving the health of a population with high rates of a risk factor might fail if the evidence is insufficient.

The College of Health Professions at Davenport University is dynamic and ever-changing, leading to a rewarding and challenging career. The College’s curriculum is aligned with the standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and other applicable laws. The curriculum meets the standards set by accrediting bodies and prepares students for licensure and certification. If you’re considering pursuing a career in the health field, we encourage you to seek out a college with a recognized quality assurance program.

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