What’s the purpose of the CDC?
Or, what should be?
How about the proper mission of hospitals?
In the quest for an appropriate aim, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its framework in order to best serve America.
As noted by The Daily Wire, the organization’s “10 Essential Public Health Services” was created in 1994.
Guidelines centered around “research.”
The concept ruled the roost in a diagram, surrounded by nine components:
- Monitor Health
- Diagnose & Investigate
- Inform, Educate, Empower
- Mobilize Community Partnerships
- Develop Policies
- Enforce Laws
- Link to/Provide Care
- Assure Competent Workforce
There are 10 Essential Public Health Services, illustrated in the image below: pic.twitter.com/Nc16X4I3Wz
— E.L. Quarantelli Resource Collection (@elq_resource) April 1, 2020
But the middle’s gotten a makeover.
Last year, the hub of help changed from Research to…Equity.
And there’s progress all around the wheel:
- Assess and monitor population health status, factors that influence health, and community needs and assets
- Investigate, diagnose, and address health problems and hazards affecting the population
- Communicate effectively to inform and educate people about health, factors that influence it, and how to improve it
- Strengthen, support, and mobilize communities and partnerships to improve health
- Create, champion, and implement policies, plans, and laws that impact health
- Utilize legal and regulatory actions designed to improve and protect the public’s health
- Assure an effective system that enables equitable access to the individual services and care needed to be healthy
- Build and support a diverse and skilled public health workforce
- Improve and innovate public health functions through ongoing evaluation, research, and continuous quality improvement
- Build and maintain a strong organizational infrastructure for public health
— APHA (@PublicHealth) September 9, 2020
The upgrade didn’t garner great attention, but surely it makes a difference. If not, why would they have changed it?
Research is certainly a far sight from equity.
On its website, the CDC explains the new focus on “structural barriers” to “communities” in the fight for justice:
The 10 Essential Public Health Services provide a framework for public health to protect and promote the health of all people in all communities. To achieve equity, the Essential Public Health Services actively promote policies, systems, and overall community conditions that enable optimal health for all and seek to remove systemic and structural barriers that have resulted in health inequities. Such barriers include poverty, racism, gender discrimination, ableism, and other forms of oppression. Everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to achieve optimal health and well-being.
What all places do the guidelines govern?
The Wire wrangles ’em:
- Public health agencies at state and local levels
- Healthcare providers
- Public safety agencies
- Human service and charity organizations
- Education and youth development organizations
- Recreation and arts-related organizations
- Economic and philanthropic organizations
- Environmental agencies and organizations
Fantastic webinar today from @BrianCCastrucci of @deBeaumontFndtn about refreshing the public health practice and the revised 10 essential services of public health #publichealthtwitter pic.twitter.com/ly7JcwwTWv
— Desi Bellicini (@DBellicini) October 27, 2020
Equity — the attempt to correct an imbalance of result when equality of opportunity will be insufficient — is a new wave sweeping the nation.
Also trending: the use of “communities” to no longer mean communities and instead denote identity groups.
Some claim such equitable effort is unjust, but the principle’s got a pal in the White House:
"Our priority will be Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American owned small businesses, women-owned businesses, and finally having equal access to resources needed to reopen and rebuild." — President-elect Biden pic.twitter.com/pIyDuhf5pH
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 10, 2021
In the meantime, the CDC hasn’t quite attainted equity where paychecks are concerned:
"And the Award for Highest Taxpayer-Funded Government Employee Goes To…"https://t.co/E98j6IAjgD
— Alex Parker (@alexparker1984) January 29, 2021
Nonetheless, like three great tastes that taste great together, Biden, equity, and medicine are coming together for the good of the country:
The Biden team wants to swiftly vaccinate people of color and others who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.
But health centers are learning that speed and achieving racial equity don't always go hand in hand.https://t.co/pPIHgE2XTA
— NPR (@NPR) February 23, 2021
Hopefully soon, we can open back up.
And a healthy, equitable time will be had by all.
We just won’t get there — evidently — via the route of research.
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