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J Public Health Manag Pract. 2012 Jul-Aug;18(4):299-302. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31825d25dd.

Public health: a best buy for America.


Public health has considerable capacity to reduce the drag of health spending on our nation by preventing the leading causes of disease, death, and disability with cost-efficient, population-based interventions and innovative, boundary-spanning approaches that link clinical care and community prevention. Public health is uniquely able to identify the burdens of disease and analyze the best strategies for addressing them. A 3-pronged strategy can help assure the value needed from our public health investments. First, we must center our efforts on prevention. Second, we must optimize our public health investments to achieve the greatest value for our investment. Third, public health must collaborate with traditional and new partners on initiatives and in funding. How we finance public health is critical to maximizing public health's benefits and requires thoughtful analysis of how federal funding affects state and local health agencies' programming and how allocation drives choices and design, among other topics, as discussed in this special issue of the journal.

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