Virginia has the potential to be the healthiest state in the nation, but it has a long way to go. Despite its wealth, Virginia’s life expectancy is lower than most wealthy countries and many wealthy states. Health outcomes also vary drastically throughout the Commonwealth.
Recent health policy debates have focused on access to clinical care. Access to quality, affordable health care is necessary but insufficient. It is social, economic, and environmental factors that have the largest effect on wellbeing. Shifting the debate upstream to focus on Virginia’s public health system is essential for addressing these factors.
In its inaugural report, “Virginia’s Public Health Landscape: A Call to Action,” the Virginia Public Health Association (VPHA) reviews Virginia’s public health landscape and issues a call to action. The report reviews the history of Virginia’s public health system, identifies current issues, and looks forward to the future. Its conclusion is simple: strengthening Virginia’s public health system is necessary to improve health and erase health disparities.
Read the report here.
The Virginia Public Health Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of all Virginians. Founded in 1950, VPHA’s mission is to strengthen public health practice and promote sound public health policy. It is a proud affiliate of the American Public Health Association.