Work to Join Public Health, Primary Care Moves Ahead

By Krisberg, Kim | The Nation's Health, July 2014 | Go to article overview

Work to Join Public Health, Primary Care Moves Ahead


Krisberg, Kim, The Nation's Health


PUBLIC HEALTH workers and primary care physicians may work toward the same goal--healthier people--but bringing the two fields together is not a simple task. Just ask Catherine McLaughlin.

McLaughlin, PhD, a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Integrating Primary Care and Public Health, witnessed the divide firsthand as she spoke to both public health and primary care audiences about a 2012 IOM report that called for better integration between the two fields. While both sides were facing similar health improvement challenges, they often seemed stuck within their respective silos, unaware of the strengths each discipline brought to the table, McLaughlin said.

"It was interesting to see the dichotomy play out," said McLaughlin, a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research and professor emerita at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. "They were exactly the issues we tussled with in the (IOM) committee in trying to figure out how we get these two sides integrated...But they have to be in this together. There's diminishing returns for both sides when they work in isolation."

With chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes affecting millions of Americans and driving health care costs increasingly skyward, advocates in both fields are calling for better collaboration and recognizing that neither side can effectively tackle today's health problems on their own. Fortunately, in the two years since IOM released "Pri mary Care and Public Health: Exploring Integration to Improve Population Health," work is moving forward. Like many community health endeavors, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to bringing together public health and primary care. Instead, successful integration will begin with local action--"it's about going back to good old grassroots community organizing," said APHA member Brian Castrucci, MA, chief program and strategy officer at the de Beaumont Foundation.

In March, the de Beaumont Foundation, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Duke Community and Family Medicine, debuted the "Practical Playbook: Public Health and Primary Care Together" initiative, which provides tools to help local stakeholders jumpstart collaborations in their communities. As of late April, the Practical Playbook website had already welcomed about 8,500 visitors, reported Castrucci, who said that the time is ripe for integration.

"There's great recognition that the link between personal health and community health is indelible," he told The Nation's Health. "Today's disease threats have social and environmental origins that go far beyond the clinical walls. There's not a vaccine or a treatment or a pill that can solve not having access to fresh fruits and vegetables."

Obesity is just one example of why integration is so beneficial, Castrucci said. While local health departments did not always have obesity data at the census-tract level, the historical progression of the obesity epidemic is documented in medical records. If local public health practitioners had been privy to such data, they could have advocated for policies that create healthy eating and physical activity opportunities at a much earlier stage in the epidemic, Castrucci said. On the flip side, integrating public health data on neighborhood-specific outbreaks and disease trends into electronic medical records could help primary care physicians more efficiently diagnose and treat their patients.

"You can do this within the hospital--you can hire epidemiologists and community health workers and make a pseudo public health department in a hospital, but it divides the community because each hospital will do it their own way," Castrucci said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Work to Join Public Health, Primary Care Moves Ahead
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.