With decades of budget cuts, unprecedented harassment of public health professionals, and rising anti-science sentiment, the public health infrastructure in the United States is in crisis. And policy is the key to building support for public health and strengthening the country’s health, security, and prosperity. The de Beaumont Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy focused on state and local public health, has released a new book — Public Health Under Siege: Improving Policy in Turbulent Times — that serves as a practical guide for supporting and defending public health.

Published in partnership with the American Public Health Association (APHA), the book includes chapters by some of the nation’s top public health experts, offering a variety of insights from advocacy organizations, think tanks, public health schools, and state, local, and federal government agencies.

“The field of public health is facing a two-front assault,” said Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation. “From rising distrust and anger stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic to a sustained campaign of defunding, our public health infrastructure faces a critical tipping point. Now more than ever, the field needs bold action on its behalf. I could not be more proud and grateful that these distinguished experts have dedicated their time and effort to researching and publishing such a valuable resource.”

Going beyond national policy, Public Health Under Siege uses real-world examples to demonstrate how addressing inequities at the local level can influence population health. With case studies, stories, and inspiration, the book will equip advocates for public health to take on the diverse and complex challenges they face, from underfunding to the weakening of public health authority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are at a crucial point in time, not only dealing with a pandemic but many other preventable health emergencies,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA. “These challenges require policy solutions that address the root causes of poor health and inequality. This book is a handbook for policymakers at all levels to better understand the critical links between policy and health and how they can take actions to improve our health.”

Public Health Under Siege: Improving Policy in Turbulent Times is available for purchase from the APHA store.

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