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The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century
CDC should authorize an analysis of the funding levels necessary for effective Prevention Research Center functioning, taking into account the levels authorized by P.L. 98–551 as well as the amount of prevention research occurring in other institutions and organizations (Chapter 8).
NIH should increase the portion of its budget allocated to population- and community-based prevention research that
Addresses population-level health problems;
Involves a definable population and operates at the level of the whole person;
Evaluates the application and impacts of new discoveries on the actual health of the population; and
Focuses on the behavioral and environmental (social, economic, cultural, physical) factors associated with primary and secondary prevention of disease and disability in populations.
Furthermore, the committee recommends that the Director of NIH report annually to the Secretary of DHHS on the scope of population-and community-based prevention research activities undertaken by the NIH centers and institutes (Chapter 8).
Academic institutions should develop criteria for recognizing and rewarding faculty scholarship related to service activities that strengthen public health practice (Chapter 8).
The findings and recommendations outlined above illustrate the areas of action and change that the committee believes should be emphasized by all potential actors in the public health system. Recommendations are directed to many parties, because in a society as diverse and decentralized as that of the United States, achieving population health requires contributions from all levels of government, the private business sector, and the variety of institutions and organizations that shape opportunities, attitudes, behaviors, and resources affecting health. Governmental public health agencies have the responsibility to facilitate and nurture the conditions conducive to good health. Without the active collaboration of other important institutions, however, they cannot produce the healthy people in healthy communities envisioned in Healthy People 2010.