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The Meaning of Population Health: Whose Population Is This Anyway?

  • Robert B. Wallace
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Robert Wallace, MD, MSc, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, 145 North Riverside Drive, 100 CPHB, Iowa City IA 52242.
    Affiliations
    Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

    American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Patrick L. Remington
    Affiliations
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Department of Population Health Sciences, UW Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • William C. Wadland
    Affiliations
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
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      The term population health has been used increasingly in reference to efforts to improve the performance and outcomes of healthcare systems.

      Stahlhut R, Porterfield D, Grande D, Balan A. Characteristics of population health physicians and the needs of health care physicians. Am J Prev Med. In press.

      With related terms such as public health and community health, population health generally refers to the health and well-being of groups of individuals. For example, the Population Association of America declares its purpose as, in part, “To promote the improvement, advancement, and progress of the human race…”

      Population Association of America. http://www.populationassociation.org/. Accessed July 29, 2020.

      The American Public Health Association “champions the health of all people and all communities.”

      American Public Health Association. About APHA. https://www.apha.org/about-apha/. Accessed July 29, 2020.

      These are just 2 examples of important domestic professional organizations whose missions extend to all the people in the U.S. and beyond.
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      REFERENCES

      1. Stahlhut R, Porterfield D, Grande D, Balan A. Characteristics of population health physicians and the needs of health care physicians. Am J Prev Med. In press.

      2. Population Association of America. http://www.populationassociation.org/. Accessed July 29, 2020.

      3. American Public Health Association. About APHA. https://www.apha.org/about-apha/. Accessed July 29, 2020.

      4. AHA Strategic plan 2019‒2020. American Hospital Association. www.aha-strategic-plan-2019. Accessed July 29, 2020.

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