Viewpoints: Health Care Must Prepare For Next Pandemic; Pediatric Board Maternity Leave Policy Needs Revision
Editorial pages discuss these various public health topics.
How Healthcare Can Meet Pandemic, Climate Change Challenges
The biggest challenge to human health over the next 25 years will come from climate change. It will also cause and amplify the impact of future pandemics. Both climate change and pandemics will disrupt the economic, physical and social infrastructures of countries around the world. The events of the past 18 months are a window into our future. Preemptive and adaptive policies and strategies will be needed to avoid even worse consequences than we have experienced to date. The U.S. healthcare system could play a seminal role in addressing these twin threats. To do so, healthcare leaders must reinvent what constitutes the healthcare infrastructure; accelerate the implementation of population health budgets that encourage prevention and continuously improving care; and adopt new business models. (Stephen M. Shortell, 6/8)
Pediatrics Board Should Modernize Its Maternity Leave Policy
When my daughter started to reveal just how comfortable she was in utero, and wasn’t planning to leave any time soon, I immediately messaged my obstetrician: “I need to be induced.” I was worried about having enough leave from my fellowship in adolescent medicine. She scheduled me for an induction within a few days, nodding kindly as she shared with me that she, too, went past her due date and watched her maternity leave tick away. (Megana Dwarakanath, 6/9)
Sex Ed In First Grade? Knowledge Protects Kids From Abuse.
The elite Dalton School in New York City made national headlines this week after an animated sexual education video used by teachers began to circulate online. While sex education usually comes with a parallel course in managing controversy, this specific video garnered an unusual amount of outrage because of the intended audience — kids in first grade. As a psychologist who works mostly with children, especially children who have survived sexual trauma, I understand where this outrage comes. Nobody wants to think that their innocent youngster needs to know about sex. Nevertheless, I feel the need to push back. (Melissa Goldberg Mintz, 6/9)
The New York Times:
3 Lessons The AIDS Pandemic Taught Us About Covid
Forty years ago last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported five cases of a rare pneumonia in Los Angeles that it described as “unusual”: The patients were all young, previously healthy “active homosexuals” whose immune systems had inexplicably stopped working. Two had died by the time of the report’s publication, and the other three died soon after. It was, unbeknown to the C.D.C., the first official U.S. recognition of the disease now called AIDS: one of the worst pandemics in human history that has since killed nearly 35 million people, including over 700,000 Americans. (Spencer Bokat-Lindell, 6/8)
The Baltimore Sun:
Letting Incarcerated Cancer Patient Out Of Prison Would Show Mercy And Still Uphold Justice
There are things to think about that are unquestionably more beautiful and uplifting than the plight of a 64-year-old prison inmate with advanced liver cancer. I could use this space to describe the trill of a thrush I heard Sunday evening in the woodlands along the Gunpowder River. I could tell you about the kaleidoscope of butterflies that suddenly rose from the trail during our hike, or the spooky mist that appeared on the river at sunset. But, as much as I would prefer to contemplate things of beauty in a world so often ugly and upside down, I come to Robert Smith because, even at the far end of society’s spectrum, among the scorned and forgotten, there’s the possibility of mercy. (Dan Rodricks, 6/8)