There are few better times to draw attention to the work of public health professionals — as well as to the public health system’s critical role in creating a healthier America for all — than during National Public Health Week.
This year’s NPHW observance takes place April 1–7, and its theme is “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money.”
Consider this: National opinion polls show that Americans strongly support prevention, believe it should be a higher national priority and support making resources available to assist community prevention efforts.
The value of investing in public health systems and employing preventative approaches seems intuitive. And, our friends at the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University tend to agree. Bouvé’s Dean, Terry Fulmer PhD, RN, FAAN, believes strongly that the key is expanding the role of nurses, nurse practitioners and other allied health professionals in delivering services to increase overall quality of care while lowering costs.
“By changing the current health care treatment model and broadening the role of ‘healthcare providers’ to include nurses and nurse practitioners as the first point-of-care for patients increases access to general care,” says Fulmer, “This makes sense in a world of shrinking healthcare dollars and the implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act. By offering many of the same services as physicians, but at fraction of the cost, healthcare provided by nurses means every dollar spent on access to preventive care saves $10.”
DCI is passionate about public health. Dean Fulmer and Bouvé College are inspirations to us and, we hope, will also inspire others to make prevention a part of their lives.