Public health has made our lives safer—but it often works behind the scenes, without our knowledge, that is, "while we are sleeping." This book powerfully illuminates how public health works with more than sixty success stories drawn from the area of injury and violence prevention. It also profiles dozens of individuals who have made important contributions to safety and health in a range of social arenas. Highlighting examples from the United States as well as from other countries, While We Were Sleeping will inform a wide audience of readers about what public health actually does and at the same time inspire a new generation to make the world a safer place.
List of Tables
Poem: The Ambulance in the Valley, by Joseph Mahin
7. Medical Treatment
8. Models of Injury Prevention
9. Future Successes
Appendix: Scientific Injury Studies
David Hemenway is Professor of Health Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health, Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, and Director of the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center. His previous books include Private Guns, Public Health.
“While We Were Sleeping brings the stories of injury prevention alive. The stories link research to successful advocacy for change and highlight the need to translate data—to put a face on it—in order to make change. These are stories of creativity, courage, and commitment.”—Linda C. Degutis, DrPH, MSN, Yale University
"'While we were sleeping,' things were happening—good things!—that most of us were not aware of. Injuries of almost all kinds, to children, teenagers, elderly, disabled, and ordinary folks were being drastically reduced. David Hemenway documents this progress, some of it in the nineteenth century, most of it in our lifetimes, with analysis of what brought it about and, in some cases, who the heroes were. It's exhilarating to read—instructive and exhaustively documented by an author who has devoted a career to this kind of analysis." —Thomas C. Schelling, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Economics, Harvard University
"I wish I had written this book. It is astute, inspiring, full of fascinating ideas, and it shows precisely how success in public health is achieved. David Hemenway has given us a story of heroic grit and remarkable achievement—indeed, a whole compendium of reasons for optimism about what people and society can do."—Atul Gawande, author of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance