The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to examine three topics in relation to public health: measurement, the law, and funding. IOM prepared a three book series-one book on each topic-that contain actionable recommendations for public health agencies and other stakeholders that have roles in the health of the U.S population.
For the Public's Health: Revitalizing Law and Policy to Meet New Challenges is the second in the For the Public Health's Series, and reflects on legal and public policy reform on three levels: first, laws that establish the structure, duties, and authorities of public health departments; second, the use of legal and policy tools to improve the public's health; and third, the health effects of laws and policies from other sectors in and outside government.
The book recommends that states enact legislation with appropriate funding to ensure that all public health departments have the mandate and the capacity to effectively deliver the Ten Essential Public Health Services. The book also recommends that states revise their laws to require public health accreditation for state and local health departments through the Public Health Accreditation Board accreditation process. The book urges government agencies to familiarize themselves with the public health and policy interventions at their disposal that can influence behavior and more importantly change conditions-social, economic, and environmental-to improve health. Lastly, the IOM encourages government and private-sector stakeholders to consider health in a wide range of policies (a health in all policies approach) and to evaluate the health effects and costs of major legislation.
This book, as well as the other two books in the series, is intended to inform and help federal, state, and local governments, public health agencies, clinical care organizations, the private sector, and community-based organizations.