Infrastructure Matters: A New Model for Strengthening Public Health | Abstract

International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health

ISSN - 1840-4529


Infrastructure Matters: A New Model for Strengthening Public Health

Dennis D. Lenaway1* and Leslie M. Beitsch

The global public health response to the Covid-19 pandemic has seen basic functions, such as surveillance, laboratory testing, and contact tracing, stretched beyond surge capacity. Similarly, previous responses to emerging or re-emerging public health hazards have exposed serious and longstanding deficiencies in our public health capacity [1]. When funding has been dedicated for novel outbreaks and urgent public health threats, it is typically episodic, fragmented, and unsustained. The question becomes how can we better understand and communicate our urgent need for substantial and sustainable investments that provide a public health infrastructure necessary for addressing current and future threats? [2,3]. We feel strongly that public health must strategically make the case that strengthening the public health system and improved health outcomes are linked in a manner that establishes infrastructure as an essential prerequisite. To help policy-makers and public health leaders more effectively make their case for increased funding, we proposed a new conceptual model that describes in simple terms how investments in infrastructure, using our knowledge of essential functions and foundational public health services, creates the building blocks upon which individual public health programs can succeed in protecting and promoting the public’s health while preventing disease [4]. In this commentary, we share the basic conceptual model and highlight several meaningful approaches that support agencies, organizations and institutes in building sustainable public health infrastructure and capacity