Saving Lives, Saving Money - Public Health is Return on Investment
April 1-5 is National Public Health Week
Public health is a part of our daily lives. If you dined at a restaurant, public health made sure your dining was safe and healthy, if you drank fresh water, public health made sure it was clean and safe, and if the air you breathe is fresh and clean, public health was there to make sure that was the case.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Public health is a great investment, and as with any quality investment, there is a tremendous return on that investment.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúPublic Health provides a great Return On Investment,‚ÄĚ said Douglas County Health Director, Dr. Adi Pour, ‚ÄúWe do what needs to be done, efficiently, but also effectively.‚ÄĚ
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Here are some facts about public health, and what it does for our nation:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Investing $10 per person each year in proven, community-based public health activities could save the nation more than $16 billion within five years?¬† That‚Äôs $5.60 for each $1 invested.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Routine childhood immunizations save $9.9 million in direct health care costs, save 33,000 lives and prevent 14 million cases of disease.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Each 10 percent increase in local public health spending contributes to a 6.9 percent decrease in infant deaths, a 1.4 percent decrease in deaths due to diabetes, and a 1.1 percent decrease in cancer deaths.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† From 1991 to 2006, investments in HIV prevention averted more than 350,000 infections and saved more than $125 billion in medical costs.
And a footnote: the return on clean water technologies in the first half of the 20th Century was 23-to-1.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† In a typical week the Douglas County Health Department will:
1)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Provide 112 vaccinations at the Douglas County Health Department Clinic.
2)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Investigate 53 reports of communicable diseases.
3)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Assist in testing 75 individuals - this week - as part of STD Awareness Month.
4)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Perform 100 restaurant inspections to ensure food safety.
5)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Test 25 pools and wells to protect the public health.
6)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Help 800 women and 2,725 children live healthier lives at our WIC clinics.
7)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Advance wellness efforts in partnership with Live Well Omaha.
8)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Facilitate wellness efforts like Friday‚Äôs Walking Action Workshop at Creighton University.
9)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Provide the public with daily air quality forecasts.
Public Health is ROI.