The Contested Boundaries of American Public Health

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The role of public health services in America is generally considered to be the reduction of illness, suffering, and death. But what exactly does this mean in practice? At different points in history, professionals in the field have addressed housing reform, education about sex and illegal drugs, hospital and clinic care, gun violence, and even bioterrorism. But there is no agreement about how far public health efforts should go in attempting to modify behaviors seen as lifestyle choices, or whether the field's mandate extends to intervening in broader social and economic conditions.

The authors of the thirteen essays in this book attempt to understand what are, and what should be, the field's chief goals and activities. Drawing on examples that include September 11th, Hurricane Katrina, the anthrax scare, and more, contributors examine the historical evolution of the profession and show how public health is changing in the context of natural and human-made disasters and the politics that surround them.

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Editorial Reviews

Fellow and Prinicipal Deputy for Biodefense, ANSER/Analytic Services Inc. - Dr. Elin A. Gursky

This book is a must read for anyone with a stake in protecting and promoting our public's health.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

James Colgrove is an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University.

Gerald E. Markowitz is a distinguished professor of history at John Jay College, City University of New York.

David Rosner is the Ronald Lauterstein professor of sociomedical sciences and history at Columbia University and the codirector of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health.

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Table of Contents

Introduction The Contested Boundaries of Public and Population Health James Colgrove Colgrove, James Gerald Markowitz Markowitz, Gerald David Rosner Rosner, David 1

Pt. I Public Health in a Free-Market Society 13

Ch. 1 Public Health and Economics: Externalities, Rivalries, Excludability, and Politics Sherry Glied Glied, Sherry 15

Ch. 2 The Limits of Relying on Employers in an Intersectoral Public Health Partnership Dennis P. Scanlon Scanlon, Dennis P. Marianne M. Hillemeier Hillemeier, Marianne M. 32

Ch. 3 Speaking for the Public: The Ambivalent Quest of Twentieth-Century Public Health Nancy Tomes Tomes, Nancy 57

Pt. II Contested Boundaries 83

Ch. 4 Environmental Health as a Core Public Health Component Phil Brown Brown, Phil 85

Ch. 5 Paternalism and Its Discontents: Motorcycle Helmet Laws, Libertarian Values, and Public Health Marian Moser Jones Jones, Marian Moser Ronald Bayer Bayer, Ronald 110

Ch. 6 Prevention Strategies and Public Health: Individual and Structural Prevention in Homelessness William McAllister McAllister, William Mary Clare Lennon Lennon, Mary Clare Isil Celimli Celimli, Isil 127

Ch. 7 Dealing with Humpty Dumpty: Research, Practice, and the Ethics of Public Health Surveillance Amy L. Fairchild Fairchild, Amy L. 160

Ch. 8 Health Production: A Common Framework to Unify Public Health and Medicine Alvin R. Tarlov Tarlov, Alvin R. 176

Pt. III Public Health in the Post-9/11 World 201

Ch. 9 The Challenge of 9/11 to the Ideologies of Population and Public Health David Rosner Rosner, David Gerald Markowitz Markowitz, Gerald 203

Ch. 10 Public Health Preparedness: Evolution or Revolution? Nicole Lurie Lurie, Nicole JeffreyWasserman Wasserman, Jeffrey Christopher D. Nelson Nelson, Christopher D. 226

Ch. 11 Blown Away: Health Care, Health Coverage, and Public Health after 9/11 and Katrina Beatrix Hoffman Hoffman, Beatrix 239

Conclusion. Public Health Takes on Gun Violence: A Dialogue on Contested Boundaries Mark Rosenberg Rosenberg, Mark Jeremy Travis Travis, Jeremy 257

Contributors 281

Index 285

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