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Public health stakeholders from the federal to the local level are looking for ways to combat the opioid crisis. Two available resources are the Public Health 3.0 (PH3.0) framework and the ongoing work of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA), an initiative of the Office of Minority Health within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Taken together, these resources offer a solution that is as unique as the crisis itself.
PH3.0 is an initiative of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH) at HHS. OASH published Public Health 3.0: A Call to Action to Create a 21st Century Public Health Infrastructure to address the emerging public health challenges and meet the needs of the nation’s diverse communities. It is a new approach to address existing challenges in public health by focusing on a community-based, data-driven approach to alleviate health disparities. PH3.0 challenges stakeholders to address fundamental gaps in population health by focusing on the social determinants of health.
Similar to the PH3.0 mission of achieving health equity are the efforts of the NPA — a cross-sector collaborative focused on ending health disparities and achieving health equity. This comprehensive approach broadens the national dialogue on health disparities to a partnership-based movement that can be customized to address local and regional concerns.
PH3.0 is organized into five themes that reflects the existing work of the NPA, and could help local communities combat the opioid crisis:
Regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or geographic location, opioid abuse is a public health crisis that cuts across every strata of American society. The goals of PH3.0 and NPA’s implementation structure could serve as a catalyst for combating the opioid epidemic by empowering local communities to develop plans that address their unique needs and fit within the fabric of their communities.
Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, and J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health
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