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 an online public health degree program that can help you realize your career ambitions.
Walden’s Master of Public Health (MPH) online degree program has engaging, timely curriculum that can prepare you for the challenging and rewarding work of boosting community health in the 21st century. The online MPH degree program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
What can you do with a public health degree? “From conducting scientific research to educating about health, people in the field of public health work to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy,” the APHA explains.3 With an MPH degree from Walden you may choose to position your career in the public or private sector, working in jobs such as public health policymaker, administrator, epidemiologist, or environmental health specialist.
Earning an MS in Health Education and Promotion can also position you for a career dedicated to building healthier futures. Walden offers a General Program as well as five optional specializations that let you tailor your master’s degree to your career interests: Self-Designed, Emergency Preparedness, Health Policy and Advocacy, Population Health, and Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Coursework in Walden’s health education and promotion degree program 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.
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 in 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 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 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.
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. Based on CEPH procedures and the documentation submitted, the effective accreditation date of both of these programs is February 3, 2018. 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 School of Health Sciences ([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. Individuals who have a bachelor’s degree and at least five subsequent years of public health work experience will be eligible to take the CPH exam. However, for individuals without these qualifications, a candidate must be a graduate of a school or program of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Walden’s MPH program’s initial CEPH accreditation date was recorded as February 3, 2018.
Students should evaluate all requirements related to national credentialing agencies and 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 CPH credential, students should visit www.nbphe.org.
Note on certification: The MS in Health Education and Promotion has 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 www.nchec.org.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.