A story that is good for your health?

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I was thinking if there were any work-related things I could pull into for a story idea this week.  I work with a lot of people in the field of public health.  You may be asking yourself “What is public health?”  Sounds kind of crunchy and idealistic, huh?  Well it can be those things, but what struck me was how much I hear from public health practitioners how difficult it is to describe their work.  Public health is many things–clean drinking water, seatbelts in cars, restaurant ratings from the health department, warning labels on cigarettes, vaccinating babies–that all add up to keeping a population healthy (whereas a doctor keeps the individual healthy).  However, when public health succeeds, you don’t hear about it.  You only hear about public health when something goes wrong: an outbreak of food-borne illness, when there is a vaccine shortage, when obesity reaches epidemic levels, etc.  How could I help tell the story of public health?  There are so many miracle stories from the field–eradicating (wiping it off the face of the earth forever!!) smallpox, for instance–I know I would have a wealth of information to work with.  It would be a matter of finding the most engaging angle and going from there.  Perhaps ghosts of diseases past- from the perspective of a previous public health problem like polio, smallpox, untreated drinking water, etc.

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9 thoughts on “A story that is good for your health?

  1. Kind of like a quiet, un-assuming super hero? Or maybe it is the kind of pib;lic health story that no one hears about because it ends well, one small victory in treating one part of a health issue? Or is it just to create a persona who can demonstrate what they do?

  2. Give a voice to all those who work on Public Health.
    Make a mess of the world and introduce a savior. She comes to clean it up. It being dung, food poisoning, garbage, bacteria, you name it.

  3. I think many people experience the same type of challenge when describing what they do. For example, if you asked my parents what I did, they would tell you I flew around in airplanes. So, I really like this idea of creating a Super Hero Public Health person. It could be cool to have them “defend” the things that your friends all work on. in this case, the “Clark Kent” figure in the story are these every day people doing their normal jobs.But, when you think about it from a macro level, they really are super heros.

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  6. This would be great for the countries that maybe haven’t gotten to the point they have gotten something under control or got rid of it. It could be like the “this could be your future” story if you do these key steps!

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