1. Public Health
As stated by Committee for the Study of the Future of Public Health; Division of Health Care Services, Prior to the eighteenth century there was several epidemics of plague, cholera, and smallbox, which provoked sporadic public efforts to protect citizens in the face of a dread disease (1988, p.57). During the eighteenth century public health awareness and efforts helped disease to be seen through a new scope of human health conditions rather than a super natural effect that could be controlled through isolation of the ill and quarantine of people who traveled. Many people thought disease was contributed to poor moral or even a spiritual mediated factor that could be healed through prayer and/or meditation. Public Health has several improving factors amongst people in the United States.
These improving factors include but are not limited to preventative measures of controlling infectious disease, immunizations, safer and healthier foods, and a cleaner environment. Public health has helped decrease hospital infections and diseases from spreading in numerous ways. One important contribution public health has implement is the education of hand washing in hospitals and with food handling as well. By educating people about hand washing, it has decreased transmission of bacteria from spreading to patient to patient. Proper steps such as lathering hands with soap, rubbing hands together for 15 seconds, using a clean paper towel to dry hands and lastly turning off water with a paper towel has help prevent transmission of multiple bacteria from spreading.
Penicillin was discovered by Dr. Alexander Fleming in 1928. Dr. Alexander Fleming was a bacteriologist and discovered penicillin, a mold, when examining colonies of Staphylococcus aureus on petri dishes in his laboratory. Upon examining the colonies of Staphylococcus aureus there where areas that did not inhibit growth due to the Penicillin mold. This discovery was extremely important in history because it lead to the combat of infectious diseases. Penicillin was not used as an antibiotic until 1942. In 1942 Penicillin was used on its first patient who developed an infection after miscarrying. The clinical impact of penicillin was on a large scale of events, it has lead to a wide scale of antibiotics that is used today. These same technologies became the model for the development and production of new types of bioproducts (i.e., anticancer agents, monoclonal antibodies, and industrial enzymes).
The clinical impact of penicillin was large and immediate. By ushering in the widespread clinical use of antibiotics, penicillin was responsible for enabling the control of many infectious diseases that had previously burdened mankind, with subsequent impact on global population demographics. Moreover, the large cumulative public effect of the many new antibiotics and new bioproducts that were developed and commercialized on the basis of the science and technology after penicillin demonstrates that penicillin had the greatest therapeutic impact event of all times (Kardos N, Demain Al)
3. American Red Cross
The American Red Cross was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton. Clara Barton visited Europe and heard about the Swiss-inspired Red Cross. When she returned home from her visit she campaigned for an American Red Cross and for ratification of the Geneva Convention protecting the war-injured, which the United States ratified in 1882 (American cross.org). The purpose of the American Red Cross is to aid in giving relief and to help service a medium communication between the American armed forces and their families. During World War II, the American Red Cross initiated a national blood program that obtained over 13.3 million pints of blood for the armed forces. The American Red Cross has a huge impact nation wide and with the United States.
The American Red Cross responds to aiding in major disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and wars. Their response system also educates in nutrition, accident prevention, home care for the sick, safety training, CPR/AED training, HIV/AIDS education along with emotional care and support during disasters. One of the major contributing factors of the American Red Cross is its blood program. It’s blood program supplies more than 40 percent of the blood products in the United States (American Cross, 2014). Many hospitals and health care facilities acquire their blood products from the American Red Cross to transfuse into their patients, which has saved thousands of lives.
CPR was developed in the 1700 to save the lives of drowning victims. Over a hundred years later, in 1891, Dr. Friedrich Maass performed the first documented chest compressions on a human. In 1960, a group of resuscitation pioneers, Drs. Peter Safar, James Jude, and William Bennett Kouwenhouven, combined mouth-to-mouth breathing with chest compressions to create Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, the lifesaving action we now call “CPR” (American Heart Association, 2014) CPR was once known to only be performed by people in the health care field. Today, there are more than 12 million people annually who are trained in CPR and advanced life support who certified to aid in rescuing lives. CPR has increased the survival rate of patients who are in sudden cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 383,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur annually out of the hospital, and 88 percent of sudden cardiac arrests occur at home
In 1965 President Johnson signed into law the Medicare program. The Medicare program was put into place due to several Americans over 65 who were unable to obtain medical insurance. There were numerous factors leading to Americans not being able to have medical insurance. Some people were unable to pay for private insurance at the same time some employers do not offer medical insurance. According to the CMS (2013) on March 26, 1965 congressional leaders discussed the Medicare legislation plan. In this discussion it was stated that every American over the age of 65 will be guaranteed comprehensive Hospital medical protection for the rest of their life. For three dollars a month after he is 65, he also receives full coverage for medical, surgical, and other fees whether he is in or out of the hospital (p. 10). Today Medicare serves a large population for the elderly and disabled individuals. There’s several different types of Medicare plans.
There is a medical Medicare part a Medicare part B and the Medicare part C. Medicare part A and B is the original Medicare plans, Medicare advantage is part C and there’s also a prescription drug program which is part D Medicare advantage part C and part D are offered by private insurance companies. The wonderful thing about Medicare, is Medicare can be a supplement health insurance. Meaning that an individual can have a private health insurance such as Blue Cross or Blue Shield and in addition to that they can also have Medicare. For example if a patient has Blue Cross or Blue Shield that would be their primary insurance and Medicare would be their secondary insurance. Both insurances would be billed, leaving no out of pocket expenses for the patient.
Our healthcare system evolves day by day. With new innovation and technology enhancements our healthcare delivery system has empowered us to provide the utmost quality of care. Form the public health system taking the preventative measures of controlling infectious disease is with the education of hand washing skills to the development of antibiotics. Penicillin paved the way for curing infections, thus improving life expectancy. Penicillin was first antibiotic to be used on a human being, and has also enabled scientists to develop and produce different types of new antibiotics. The introduction of cardio pulmonary resuscitation helps save lives every day, whether the patient be in or out of the hospital setting. With the help of the American Red Cross educating and training thousands of people to perform CPR, CPR has increased the survival rate of many people who fall victim to the sudden cardiac arrest.
Not only has the American Red Cross assisted in educating people on how to perform CPR but also has saved thousands of lives with its blood program. Its blood programs supplies 40% of the United States blood products, impacting the lives of individuals who need a blood transfusion as well as their loved ones. The American Red Cross has helped in aid relief efforts for major disasters and is a crucial link between families and the Armed Forces. As a link between Armed Forces and families the American Red Cross facilitates the transportation of military men and women with the connection to their ill family member(s). As people’s life expectancy tends to increase many people who are 65 and over utilize the need for Medicare. Medicare pays for millions of senior citizens including those who are disabled. The healthcare system is a huge umbrella, where each part functions as a whole, one cannot function without the other.
American Heart Association. (2014). CPR Statistics. Retrieved from
American Red Cross. (2014). A Brief History of the American Red Cross. Retrieved from
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2013).
CMS History Project Presidents’ Speeches Table of Contents pdf. Retrieved from
Committee for the Study of the Future of Public Health; Division of Health Care Services.
(1988). The future of public health. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Kardos N, Demain AL. (2011). Penicillin: the medicine with the greatest impact on therapeutic
outcomes. NCBI. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21964640
Kardos N, Demain AL.