At our opening plenary – we discussed the challenge COVID-19 has presented to clinical preventive services. No issue in public health has been as important, urgent, and present as COVID-19. Issues related to the pandemic have had a central place at preventive medicine conferences for the last two years. However, many of the greatest repercussions of the pandemic may just be beginning to be felt.
Our College’s president, Dr. M. Tonette Krousel-Wood, highlighted that low medication adherence is America’s ‘other drug’ problem, one that costs the U.S. a total of $300 billion dollars annually. In her session, she also urged that we address existing and unacceptable patient disparities to help our communities be prepared for when the next public health crisis comes.
Later in the day, we examined another critical, but preventable, issue affecting our communities. In recent weeks, we have once again been reminded of the horrifying toll gun violence exacts on our nation each year. In today’s plenary session, Dr. Emmy Betz discussed innovative approaches to community engagement and collaborative models of violence prevention. During her session, Dr. Betz noted gun violence is an often-overlooked public health crisis; more than 40,000 Americans lose their lives each year as a result. Dr. Betz outlined some of the ways we could affect change to help reduce firearm access for those most at risk and save lives by taking a harm reduction lens to the issue of firearm prevention.
The Preventive Medicine meeting is an annual opportunity to see the future of prevention be told by the voices of trailblazing clinicians – and is a moment to gather and share data and perspectives from across the specialty to continue to evolve the fundamentals of public health.
Continue to follow the conversation of Preventive Medicine 2022 on social media using #PM2022 and visit ACPM online, here, to learn more.
Donna Grande, MGA