Practising Public Health: An Eyewitness Account

John Ashton

Public health issues are rarely out of the news. The 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Grenfell Tower fire, new designer drugs, outbreaks of Ebola, and links between social media and mental health, occupy our thoughts and our screens. However, awareness of these events as public health issues is a recent phenomenon; for many years after the Second World War, the history of the field was eclipsed by advances in clinical science and patient care. In Practising Public Health: An Eyewitness Account, John Ashton sets the record straight. The former Regional Director of Public Health in the North West of England, and co-founder of the WHO Healthy Cities Project, shares his adventures and experiences as a leader in public health at a time of unprecedented change and challenge. He presents case studies from the frontline of public health, and tells stories that are now part of modern history. Fighting for a better public health at community, national, and international levels, John shows us how public engagement and partnership goes hand in hand with political action. The stories in this book illustrate the importance of using your imagination, challenging the status quo, and thinking on your feet when initiating change. John also reveals the thinking behind his renowned hands-on approach to public health, and explains why he insists on bridging the gap between theory and practice. Practising Public Health connects the work of nineteenth century public health giants to that of today's twenty first century pioneers, taking time to reflect over, dissect and highlight the events, decisions and people involved in its development. With case studies and story-telling, this book is ideal for undergraduate and postgraduate public health courses worldwide. It is also of high value to other health professional groups such as nurses and health visitors, social workers and community development activists, as well as politicians and policy makers.

Oxford University Press 272 pages

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