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Data from CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States 2009. Hyattsville, MD: NCHS: 2009 and Rust G, Satcher D, Fryer GE, Levine RS, Blumenthal DS. Triangulating on success: Innovation, public health, medical care, and cause-specific US mortality over a half century (1950 -2000). Am J Public Health. 2010; 100; S95-S104
- What public health innovations and leaders from your readings can you attribute to these improvements? Highlight three innovations and two individuals that you feel have been the most impactful. Make certain to provide a least one scholarly source (Links to an external site.) for each innovation that ties directly to one of these outcomes, for the individuals, scholarly sources are not required.
- The pioneering work of Dr. Charles Drew who demonstrated through science that blood from all races and ethnicities was acceptable for donations and transfusions. Prior to his efforts, only someone of your own race was allowed to donate or receive your blood. Meaning White citizens would receive “White blood” and African-Americans would receive what was called “Negro blood.” His work alone saved millions of lives.
- The story of Henrietta Lacks who unknowingly had her tumor cells cultured to reveal that her cells were unique in that they are essentially “immortal.” Today, HeLa cells are now used throughout the world to test new cancer and disease treatments which have help to treat and cure a multitude of diseases.
- Dr. Margaret Chan who became the first woman elected as the head of the Department of Health in Hong Kong. Dr. Chan is now the Director – General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Her work in Hong Kong not only prevented the further spread of the avian flu and SARS outbreaks, but also established the first real-time disease surveillance system for that territory. Today her work in the WHO is focused on improving the health access for the people of Africa and creating specific health treatment centers for woman of that continent.
- Blake Mycoskie is the founder of TOMS. He is credited with being the creator of social entrepreneurship, in that his company donates items of need for every item they sell. So for example, for every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, his company donates a pair to a person in need. To date he has donated more than 10,000,000 pairs of shoes. Recently, in 2014, Mycoskie created TOMS Roasting Co. which donates a week’s worth of clean water for every bag of coffee sold. While Mr. Mycoskie’s efforts are not tied directly to any organization, his concept of working for the greater good certainly is in line with the goals of public health.
In your response to this post I would ask that you try to find minority heroes not listed above (African-American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, Native American, etc.) in healthcare, the primary reason being that they are so often overlooked that their contributions often become attributed to white physicians or scientists.