Opinion: 10 ways to restore public health

The “unthinkable losses and inexcusable failures” of the COVID-19 pandemic have illuminated the challenges that have undermined public health for decades, according to Michelle Williams, dean of the faculty at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

In a February 2, 2021, opinion piece in STAT, Williams outlined 10 ways to address the challenges:

  • Invest in public health
  • Bolster coordination among agencies
  • Enhance global engagement
  • Foster public-private partnerships
  • Build crisis capacity
  • Build a modern disease surveillance and reporting system
  • Address health care workforce shortages
  • Prioritize health promotion and disease prevention
  • Address the root causes of health inequity
  • Rebuild public trust in health agencies

“All of this is a tall order, but it could not be more urgent,” Williams wrote. “As we work to halt this catastrophe, it is up to us to examine the many underlying issues that led to it and leverage the undivided focus on public health to address them.”

Read the STAT opinion piece: Public health is being undermined. These 10 actions can restore it