To illustrate the gulf between the nation’s costly health care and its underfunded public health, Alfred Sommer, former dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, often tells a story:When people wake up after triple bypass surgery at the famous hospital across the street in Baltimore, they typically thank their doctors for the lifesaving miracles they performed — and sometimes even make donations to the institution.“Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, ‘Thank God I don’t have smallpox.’ Or, ‘Thank God my water is potable,’ ” Sommer said.That in a nutshell, says Sommer, is the conundrum facing public health as it tackles the coronavirus crisis. Its largely preventive mission, aimed at protecting the entire community, has been consistently overlooked in a country that puts a premium — and spends more money per capita than any other — on treating individual sick people. Its victories are soon taken for granted. And these days, as the vaccine debate demonstrates, its science is increasingly challenged.“We have an illness-care system not a health-care system,” said Betty Bekemeier, director of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice at the University of Washington School of Public Health. “The amount of money spent on keeping

Continue To Full Article