ODPHP Director

ODPHP guides the nation toward better health through disease prevention and health promotion efforts. Health and Well-Being Matter is a blog series from the ODPHP Director that features information about timely national public health priorities, observances, events, and initiatives. Read the Director's thoughts on efforts to improve health and well-being for all people.

Let’s Talk About Talking About Healthy Aging

Health and Well-Being Matter. ODPHP Director, RADM Paul Reed, MD.

Contemporary approaches to healthy living, with an increasing attentiveness to social determinants of health and the Vital Conditions for Health and Well-Being, hold potential — even real promise — to provide us with longer and greater-quality lives, especially through our later years. Focusing and sustaining meaningful action in support of that potential — that promise — requires a broader perspective on healthy aging and an open and inclusive conversation on the subject.

An Ounce of Prevention … Can Save a Person’s Life

Health and Well-Being Matter. ODPHP Director, RADM Paul Reed, MD.

New treatments and scientific breakthroughs that lead to cures characterize modern medicine. But as exciting and beneficial as many of these innovations are, none compares to the power of prevention. In addition to getting enough physical activity, ensuring healthy eating, and maintaining mental health, a fourth essential — and often overlooked — element in any comprehensive wellness strategy is keeping up with clinical preventive services.

Social Determinants of Health Are Our Life Circumstances

ODPHP Director RADM Paul Reed, MD

Social determinants of Health (SDOH) form the dynamic context for what we experience in our everyday lives. They are not abstract concepts — they are our life circumstances. These circumstances have a major impact on people’s health, well-being, quality of life, resilience, and opportunity to thrive. Yet, as defined, SDOH exist largely outside the healthcare and public health sectors. From this perspective, we need to expand the circles where conversations about improving SDOH take place: to be more inclusive so that all sectors are at the table, empowered and invested in the plan for action that will make us a healthier nation.

Lessening Cancer Risks: Healthy Living, Preventive Measures, and Public Health Practice

ODPHP Director RADM Paul Reed, MD

At the heart of it, cancers are diseases caused by mutations in genes that ultimately fail to control the way our cells would normally function. Despite the complexity of factors and their interplay that lead to cancer, the evidence unequivocally suggests that there are measures that can be taken to reduce risk. When collectively addressed, these steps can help us to prevent many cancers. Within such a strategy, there are habits to avoid and habits to encourage.