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In response to the executive order on the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council, I would wish to present polices and strategies that would help in improving the nation’s health status. A healthy nation is the bedrock of innovation, productivity and investment. There are five causes of majority deaths in the country that should be addressed first: heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease and unintentional injuries. To achieve the nutritional health goals, the national prevention strategy should consider the following four policies:
- Empower the public
- Eliminate health disparities
- Establish preventive services in the community
- Promote a clean, healthy and safe environment
Empower the Public
The public has a responsibility to make the right choices pertaining to their health. They can only do this when they have access to resources, knowledge, and the motivation to make healthy choices. Efforts to motivate and educate the public should be established through the collaboration of NGOs, the government, schools, and health providers. Emphasis should be put on ensuring that the young people are empowered with skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to grow into healthy adults. Investment in agriculture will also promote food security.
Eliminate Health Disparities
All Americans should be allowed to access health facilities regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability status, mental health, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or geographical location. The political leadership should therefore ensure that their constituents have access to health facilities. In America, health disparities are often linked with environmental, social or economic disadvantages (Exhibit 1). There is reliable evidence that proper investment in the health care sector can eliminate health disparities and improve the health status of the nation.
Establish Preventive Services in the Community
With the assistance of the health and human services secretary, there is need to establish prevention-focused health care services that should be integrated with clinical preventive services. Preventive services like counseling, immunization, and screening tests detect health problems early and are cost effective. These services can be delivered in residential treatment centers, schools, worksite, or homes. Community programs that support patients in overcoming their barrier such as child care, transportation, and patient navigation are also necessary in the promotion of good health.
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Promote a Clean, Healthy and Safe Environment
A clean environment can reduce the prevalence of diseases in the community. In addition, availability of resources to meet daily human needs such as job opportunities, education, affordable housing, security and affordable food will help in creating a healthy environment. The secretary of homeland security will therefore work closely with the drug control department to prevent the use of drugs and excessive alcohol consumption. The transportation department will also work with the homeland security team to ensure that no one drives a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
I recommend that strategic focus should be placed on communities with a greater health risk. Community based approaches that prevent diseases and injury and promote health behavior should be implemented. The health systems should also be strengthened and barriers to health services removed to improve access to qualified and timely health care. Additionally, resources should be invested in education and research to identify better ways of preventing diseases. Individual families should also be empowered to take part in health promotion activities through labor unions, neighborhood associations or community coalitions. Collaboration between business, local and state government and the healthcare professional, and insurers contributes to the improvement of the healthcare sector (Exhibit 2).
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