July 4, 2013
Discussion Question #1
Review the organization of health responsibilities in the state of your choice and describe how the three core functions of public health are delegated and carried out among various offices and agencies of state government beyond the state health department.
Review the organization of health responsibilities in the state of your choice
Describe how the three core functions of public health are delegated and carried out among various offices and agencies of state government beyond the state health department.
Discussion # 2
Review the history of Public Health in Chicago. The events in Chicago tell the story of how public health responses and activities have changed over the past 175 years in the United States. After reviewing the timeline, please discuss the following: What influences do you think have been most responsible for these changes? Does this history suggest that public health functions have changed over time? Provide rationale for your response. Your original posting is due on Thursday. Please respond to two peer posts by Saturday.
After reviewing the history of Public Health in Chicago I am convinced that changes were brought forth as a result of the number of deaths due to the outbreak of cholera. It was imperative that the government made a rapid decision in saving the lives of people. The first major step taken was establishing a temporary board of health to fight the threat of the outbreak of this disease in 1834. In 1857 because of financial constraints the Board of Health effort was viewed as luxury and duties were eliminated.
As one take a closer look at the period during 1830s there was a lack of preventative care for the people of Chicago. There was lack of treatment for feces and drinking water. It wasn’t until after 30 deaths that the Board of Sewage Commissioners constructed the first sewage system. In addition to the above there was also a lack of education. The disease was pretty much new to the medical department, so their old medical techniques of dealing with an epidemic were challenged.
As the events of the timeline changes sanitation and quarantine was the best mechanism for fighting the outbreak. Young men over the age of 21 years old were recruited to help with the cleaning of alleys and streets. A Board of Health officer's responsibilities included inspecting food markets, preparing death certificates, constructing a quarantine hospital, visiting residents with infectious illnesses, and boarding vessels to check for sickness. Once the immediate threat of cholera subsided in the mid-1850s, however, support for the board dwindled. (Koslow, 2005)
All the effort that has been made over the last 175 years has certainly caused a turning point in the history of public health. Chicago has set the stage for other cities in the United States to upgrade their level of public health. Some of the changes include educating citizens, physicians and politicians. This includes upgrading sewers system, water, food and dairy. The health Department implemented new plumbing system, initiated meat inspection at Chicago’s Stock Yards in 1869, full milk inspection in1892 and later implemented the importance of pasteurized milk which was made available to needy children. In addition to the above vaccines were made to eradicate Salk, polo and tuberculosis. As the era changes to the twentieth century so does public health. New laws and regulations are initiated for hospitals and nursing homes. Family planning clinics are introduced along with an array of new testing for diseases, and lead poisoning. The Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program was introduced to children, senior citizens and pregnant mothers.
Since 1830s public health has greatly expanded its capacity in epidemiology, policy and resource. Technology has increased, more preventative care and education is initiated along with more preparedness for disaster.
Epowell, (2004) History of Selected Public Health Events in Chicago, 1834-1999 Retrieved from http://www.uic.edu/sph/prepare/courses/chsc400/resources/chicagohistory.htm
Koslow, J. (2005) Public Health Retrieved form The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago from http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1020.html