Public Health Priorities
Quality and Availability of Health Care:
MPHA strives to ensure universal access to high-quality, evidence-based and affordable health care for all Montanans.
Lack of access to health care delays public health services and medical services. Forgoing needed preventive and acute care inevitably reduces wellbeing and leads to higher costs when treatment is sought. MPHA endorses a strengthened health system, emphasizing prevention and care management for the most burdensome health issues facing the state. Included among these are preventable chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes).
Initiatives that expand coverage and access to public health and health care services are desirable for saving lives, reducing disability, lowering costs, and eliminating health disparities. These benefits extend to all Montana residents.
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention:
MPHA works to advance public policies that educate and empower people, mobilize communities, and link people to needed services. Large gains can be made in reducing death and disability through policies that serve to detect, prevent, monitor, delay, and manage chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.We support efforts that address modifiable risk factors for chronic diseases, including limited physical activity, inadequate nutrition, and tobacco use. We also support policy efforts directed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Winnable Battles Initiative.
Furthermore, we support policy efforts directed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Winnable Battles Initiative. By focusing on containing costs and achieving quick and measurable results in the areas of food safety; healthcare-associated infections; HIV; motor vehicle injuries; nutrition, physical activity and obesity; teen pregnancy; and tobacco, we will have a large-scale impact on the health and safety of Montanans.
Public Health Infrastructure and Capacity:
Public health infrastructure components include systems,competencies, frameworks, relationships, and resources to perform core functions and essential services.MPHAworks to ensure that Montanansare served under these components by a competent workforce comprised of diversity, leadership, and responsiveness through effective and sustainable community-based programs—this is the foundation of a strong public health system.
Declines in public health funding provide a great impetus to educate lawmakers about the value of public health services and the importance of public health capacity. Informing lawmakers is needed to help ensure that policies and funding are directed toward maintaining and enhancing public health programs and the workforce that makes them successful.
MPHA supports the public health accreditation process as a way to improve the performance of public health departments, ultimately building infrastructure and workforce capacity from local to state levels.