Trying to Take the Long View

Steve Heilig, MPH
CHE Director of Public Health & Education

“Patience is a virtue” is wise counsel in many arenas, including both science and politics. But as 2010 speeds along, much of the American public and media seem consumed by a sense of impatience, if not disappointment, that concerns regarding health care reform, climate change, the economy and other large-scale issues have not moved more quickly towards a positive resolution over this past year. Some of that frustration is of course not only understandable, but appropriate. However, with the scope of problems facing our nation and the world, one year is hardly a fair passage of time to expect fundamental shifts in perspective and direction. Sometimes in our broad field of work a long view is not only justified, but essential.

For a bit of a reality check in CHE’s realm, take a look at the reflections of Dr. Linda Birnbaum, who in the new NIEHS newsletter reflects on her first year as director of that crucial federal agency. CHE partners will soon have the opportunity to hear from, and talk with, Dr. Birnbaum directly.

Beyond NIEHS activity, also peruse this mopnth’s newsletter for a number of new scientific and policy developments of note. Though it is hard to see signs of progress and hope in the seeming torrent of bad news, we applaud the extraordinary contributions that so many colleagues are making to improve public health for the long term. Some of the reports, meetings, activities and working groups listed in this newsletter offer ways to engage in a variety of ways. We hope you will find something of real interest to you and join us in our collective efforts.

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