January, 2005 Common Health Program
This is the first program in the 2005 Common Health Series and it served as an introduction and overview of Common Health's theme for the year, Public Health.
In the second half of the program, Dr. Lani Graham, Acting Director, Maine Bureau of Health, joined the session. She advocated a broad definition of public health focused on trying to control the most significant causes of disease. She cited examples of successful efforts to curb polio, pertussis, and measles as effective public health initiatives. Today, environmental factors have a significant impact on public health. Effective water purification, for example, is critical and probably has more of an impact of the overall health of people than most medical advances.
In Maine, we have a centralized approach to public health. The recent merger of the state Department of Health and the Department of Human Services is now a reality but the "on-the ground" details are still being worked out.
Several callers joined the discussion adding their thoughts on the necessity of better mental health services, and on the rising prevalence of Lyme Disease and the relative unfamiliarity of health workers with its symptoms.
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