There are a wealth of activities happening across rural American working to address and improve health outcomes, including community gardens to increase access to healthy foods, economic development to invest in healthy community design, and utilization of local wellness coalitions to take action to address local health. However, increasing globalization and the growing impact of social, economic, and environmental factors on global health, calls for expansion of the scope and reach of population health approaches to improve health outcomes across rural America.
With the increasing rates of mortality and morbidity attributable to chronic diseases and associated risk factors, including social, economic, and environmental factors, the need to build the capacity of public health professionals is essential. In the current era of public health, there is a call to action need to expand the scope and reach of public health to address all factors that promote health and well-being, including education, transportation, housing, economic development (Fraser, Castrucci, & Harger, 2017). Professional development is an integral component to build capacity to expand the scope and reach of the public health workforce.
This time of year is full of food related memories. Crisp caramel apples, my father’s over the top Thanksgiving desserts, Nana’s Christmas cannoli and my mother’s dry turkey. It’s also a time to reflect and give thanks for what we have but also to recognize that we have a long way to go to ensure that everyone has adequate access to and ability to purchase healthy foods.