Public Health Reports
Volume 133 Issue 1_suppl, November/December 2018
From Local Action to National Progress on 5 Major Health Challenges: The Bloomberg American Health Initiative
Guest Editor: Joshua M. Sharfstein, Jessica Leighton, Alfred Sommer and Ellen J. MacKenzie
The articles in this supplemental issue of Public Health Reports provide insight into what it will take for the field of public health to tackle 5 of the most complex and difficult health problems of our time: (1) large numbers of adolescents disconnected from work and school; (2) violence (including gun violence), intimate partner and sexual violence, and suicide; (3) opioid addiction and overdose; (4) a dysfunctional food system associated with obesity; and (5) threats to the environment.
These 5 problems are the central focus of the new Bloomberg American Health Initiative, which MacKenzie et al1 describe in their Commentary. “All 5 areas of focus are serious problems facing the nation, with deep connections to economic and social factors,” they write. “None have quick fixes.”1 Yet there is reason to believe that public health can lead the way toward meaningful progress.
From December 2017 to April 2018, the initiative held 5 national symposia to document the state of understanding and to inform a public health perspective on each challenge. This supplement includes these perspectives, as well as commentaries in the cross-cutting areas of evidence, policy, and equity. Together, these articles provide a road map for efforts to bring public health training to frontline organizations, pursue insights through innovative research, and advance effective programs, policies, and strategies for change…