I'll write another post with some strategies for local churches to become more aware of and active in public health initiatives. For now, here are some resources that might be helpful in learning more about Public Health.
One way to learn more about Public Health is to select a particular project and then begin to learn about the component parts to the underlying cause of whatever problem is being addressed. For instance, hunger advocacy might emerge from working with a particular food pantry and learning more about the needs of the people being served, the root causes, and then discovering interventions related to policies and practices that have led to the situation of people not having enough food.
General Board of Global Ministries: Find organizations doing solid public health work around the world. A wide range of topics, geography and scale are represented on this site, which has been revised to become much easier to navigate than "in the old days." http://www.umcmission.org/
United Methodist Women: Public Health issues are included throughout this website; see the Advocacy and Press Room tabs for clickable links to particular topics. http://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/
General Board of Church and Society: Click on the "Explore Topics" link or use the search bar in the upper right corner to look for particular health-related issues. http://umc-gbcs.org/
American Public Health Association: resources
on many, many, many public health topics. This is the national
membership organization for public health practitioners. See the "policies and advocacy" tab to read about current issues and sign up for action alerts. https://www.apha.org/
Influenza: everything you could want to know, including maps and statistics. http://www.cdc.gov/flu
for the general public from the Nebraska Medical Center. Home to one of
four biocontainment facilities in the nation, the Nebraska Medical
Center has produced an online course with basic information about this
Local Health Departments: If you are having trouble locating your local health department, this site should help. http://www.naccho.org Don't let the fact that the acronym seems to spell a tasty snack through you off; it stands for National Association of County and City Health Officials.
UNICEF: Their website includes articles that help explain global public health issues from a local context. http://www.unicef.org/
American Community Garden Association: Community Gardens are an excellent way to strengthen local food systems, which then strengthen local public health and entrepreneurship. Find out more at this website, which includes a map of existing community gardens. https://communitygarden.org/
This was the last bouquet of the season from my yard, taken about two weeks ago before unseasonably cold air descended on Nebraska... and most of the nation. I'll look forward to seeing my flower friends again next year.