By Teddi Dineley Johnson
The Nation's Health
From motorcycle helmet laws to menu labeling to childhood immunizations, there is no question that prevention saves lives and reduces suffering. Prevention also saves money.
However, prevention all too often takes a back seat to the long-standing predominant approach to health and well-being: medical treatment and services delivered after the fact. Making the case for quality community prevention efforts that prevent illnesses and injuries from occurring in the first place, In 2007, APHA co-published with Jossey Bass "Prevention is Primary: Strategies for Community Well-Being." This fall, a second edition of the book, also co-published with Jossey Bass, entered a landscape in which prevention is more firmly positioned on the national agenda, thanks in part to landmark investments in prevention and wellness provided by the new health reform laws.
Larry Cohen, MSW, the book's lead editor and an APHA member, said health "is something we all care about as a fundamental concern and a major part of our economy. Yet almost all the attention to health is about health care after people get sick and injured. This book helps people understand the potential of prevention and what it takes to create a system where we keep many people from getting sick and injured in the first place."
With contributions from dozens of experts from the field of population health, the second edition of "Prevention is Primary" provides models, methods and approaches for building health and equity in communities. Organized in three sections, the book addresses emerging issues such as community resilience and revisits primary prevention tools such as social justice and community organizing. Using real-world examples, the book lays out the principles for prevention and emphasizes quality prevention - the kinds of strategies that create system-wide change and enhance community health safety and well-being.
"It is very current," co-editor Sana Chehimi, MPH, told The Nation's Health. "It is based on what is going on in our current economic climate and it takes into account the changing dialogue around health and health care that has happened over the last several years."
To include the voices of more contributors, complement the content and delve deeper, the second edition features an expanded use of sidebars, said Chehimi, who is an APHA member. In addition, all chapters are updated and three new chapters address mental health, violence prevention and the impact of corporate practices on health and health policy.
APHA Annual Meeting-goers will be able to attend a book signing with some of the book's editors from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Everything APHA section of the meeting's Public Health Expo.
Copyright The Nation's Health, American Public Health Association