One of the leading challenges in public health today is moving forward as one whether we are part of academia, a clinical health setting, or a public health department, in order to improve health outcomes. Right now in the United States, the leading causes of death are caused from diseases that are preventable. We also face a steady rise in health inequalities among those citizens with a lower socioeconomic status. Director of the CDC, Thomas Friedan addressed the Keeneland conference audience on the impact that public health initiatives have had on the health of our nation. Public health interventions have a potential impact in all levels and the challenge is to identify areas where we can work systematically to improve health outcomes. Six key areas for potential impacts are smoking, obesity, health care associated infections, HIV, teen pregnancy, motor vehicle accidents. Major initiatives that need to be undertaken are heart attack and stroke prevention, electronic health records, and clinical innovations that involve improving quality of care and reducing prices. It is also vital that we come up with ways to bridge the gaps in program implementation.

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