Welcome to Public Health: The Art and Science of Living Well in Maine! This BDN blog will focus on what research tells us about promoting health and wellness and how we can apply that knowledge in our communities to live well in Maine.
I’m passionate about health and wellness, and not just physical health – how we express ourselves in art, how we connect with our spiritual selves, how we support good mental health, and how we maintain important relationships are all part of staying well. Caring for our environment and making sure we have robust health policies that support communities are also an important part of public health.
I’ll use my nearly 20 years of experience living and working in public health in Maine to bring you information that is relevant to the health of your community. I’ll turn to reliable sources like The Community Guide, the Network for Public Health Law, and the American Public Health Association, in order to help show how evidence-based public health research can inform our lives.
I’ll cover topics that are important to you, like:
- Your teeth matter: oral health is part of overall health,
- Access to medical care and community supports help children overcome hardships,
- Research shows having dinner together as a family has positive effects on child development and health, and
- Break the chain of infection! Is hand washing really the best way to prevent the spread of infections?
I’ll keep you up-to-date on research and evidence-based practices to improve health, and on happenings in Augusta and Washington when issues that impact our health enter the political realm. I’ll also describe the ways that education, employment, housing, and other social issues impact the health of Mainers.
But first, what is “public health” anyway? That’s a common question, and the easiest way to answer it is to describe fish in a tank.
Health care addresses the health problems of each individual fish. Public health is concerned with the water surrounding all of the fish, the food they eat, the humans that clean the tank, and how the fish are doing. If one of the fish gets sick, a health care provider treats that fish. If four or five of the fish are sick, public health professionals figure out what the cause of the problem is and then how to improve the health of all of the fish. Better still, they try to prevent the sickness in the first place.
In the next year, I’ll deliver a weekly blog that gives you helpful, reliable information that you can use in your everyday lives. I’d love to connect with you, to hear what you are curious about, to hear what you care about!