Skip to Content
Resource Articles //

What Will It Take to Get America Healthy?

With a public health career, you can help get the U.S. back on the track to well-being.

A nation’s wealth is not always a measure of its citizens’ health. The United States is a case in point. Though one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the U.S. ranks 35th of 100 countries in a global health index that assesses health risk factors, life expectancy, causes of death, pollution, access to clean water, and other contributing elements.1

Public health professionals and officials want to get the U.S. trending toward healthy. But what will it take to improve U.S. health?


“Change can only happen if we make healthy choices as a society,” the American Public Health Association (APHA) says. “This means improving everything that impacts health—from housing, education, and income to community, design, transportation, and our environment.”2

That’s what the APHA initiative Generation Public Health is all about: transforming the U.S. into the healthiest nation in just one generation. As individuals, we can do our part by making healthy lifestyle choices. But to claim its spot as the healthiest nation, the U.S. must address systemic inequities that the APHA says can reduce life expectancy by up to 15 years.2

Here are some of those recommended actions:3

  • Build a nation of safe, healthy communities. Make health a priority in designing communities—from healthy housing and transportation to parks and playgrounds.
  • Help everyone achieve at least high school graduation. Education leads to healthy adults with access to better jobs, resources, and neighborhoods.
  • Increase economic mobility. Income inequality contributes to unhealthy stresses on adults and children.
  • Ensure social justice and health equity. Remove barriers so everyone has the same opportunity to improve their lives and their health.
  • Give everyone a choice of safe, healthy food. Healthy food with nutritious ingredients free from harmful contaminants needs to be both affordable and widely accessible.
  • Create healthy environments. Support policies for clean air and water, safe housing and products, and preparedness for natural and human-made disasters.
  • Provide quality health care for everyone.
  • Strengthen public health infrastructure and capacity. Strong and consistent funding levels are necessary for the public health system to respond to both everyday health threats and unexpected emergencies.

Are You Ready to Help the U.S. Get Healthy?

Public health professionals and health educators are key players in promoting and safeguarding health in local or global communities. If population health is your passion, Walden University offers a suite of online public health degree programs that can help you realize your career ambitions. Here are just a few of the options available:

Walden’s online PhD in Health Education and Promotion is one of only a few doctoral programs focused solely on this topic. It’s a great option for health professionals who wish to impact the health of others through research or by creating, managing, or evaluating programs and services designed to reduce disease and prolong the lives of individuals and populations. You will be able to refine your studies by choosing one of six specializations.

Walden’s PhD in Health Education and Promotion also offers three tracks, allowing you to earn your degree regardless of whether your master’s degree is in a health profession. And, if your goal is to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam or the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) exam, this program can help prepare you. 

Earning an MS in Health Education and Promotion can also position you for a career dedicated to building healthier futures.  

Coursework in Walden’s health education and promotion master’s degree program also prepares you to sit for the career-enhancing Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) exams. As a health educator, you’ll assess needs and plan, implement, and evaluate health education programs. Health educators work across multiple career settings that include health departments, government, NGOs, schools, and healthcare facilities.

A Flexible Option for Working Professionals

Walden designs its online degree programs for working professionals who want to earn a degree without leaving their jobs. With Walden’s flexible online learning format, you can log on and engage in coursework at your convenience. And as an adult learner, you can immediately apply the knowledge and skills you’re gaining to the work you’re doing now.

“All steps, big or small, help us move closer to creating the healthiest nation in one generation,” the APHA says. “Our power grows when we have more people united behind our cause.”4 With a PhD in Health Education and Promotion, a Master of Public Health, or an MS in Health Education and Promotion, you can help individuals and communities take those steps—big and small—toward a healthier future. 

Walden University is an accredited institution offering PhD in Health Education and Promotion, Master of Public Health, and MS in Health Education and Promotion online degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Board of Councilors acted at its September 6, 2019, meeting to accredit the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at Walden University for a five-year term, based on an application for accreditation submitted on February 3, 2018. On June 5, 2020, the CEPH Board of Councilors accredited the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program at Walden University, after reviewing an accreditation application submitted on April 21, 2020. CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and programs of public health. CEPH accreditation provides assurance that the program has been evaluated and met accepted public health profession standards in practice, research, and service. For a copy of the final self-study document and/or final accreditation report, please contact the dean of the College of Health Sciences and Public Policy ([email protected]).

Note on certification: The National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) offers the Certified in Public Health (CPH) credential as a voluntary core credential for public health professionals. As the eligibility criteria may change periodically, students should visit for more information about certification in public health. It is the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to national certification. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain national certification or practice as a public health professional in the state where they intend to practice.

Note on certification: The MS in Health Education and Promotion and PhD in Health Education and Promotion have been designed to reflect the Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Educators outlined by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) and to prepare students to sit for the national Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) exams. Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide information relating to national certification exams; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to national certification exams for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain national certification. For more information about the CHES and MCHES exams, students should visit