1st Edition

Public Health, Public Trust and American Fragility in a Pandemic Era The Critical Role of Health Care Professionals

By Norbert Goldfield Copyright 2024
    272 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores how professionals and policymakers in mental and physical health care can use lessons from the COVID pandemic to better inform future public policy and treatment.

    Using the United States as a test case, Norbert Goldfield draws on his professional experience in healthcare and policy-making to explore how some societies have emerged from the pandemic with increasing internal conflicts. The author uses excerpts from his own COVID diary to revisit key stages in the response to the COVID pandemic to highlight where division has entered the publish health discourse, and to set out an alternative vision of how mental and physical health can be framed professionally and publicly. In addition to this account, Dr Goldfield details how our political system should change with respect to pandemics and how health professionals, together with the lay public, can help. Specifically, the book highlights the three critical issues confronting American pandemic fragility: increasing vaccinations, decreasing misinformation, and fostering greater linkages between our public and acute health systems.

    This book will be invaluable for all types of health care professionals, both in mental and physical health arenas, lay people interested in the pandemic, and for policymakers.

    Part I: Background Perspectives, The COVID "Diary" and American Fragility  1. Introduction  2. Peace through Health and American Fragility: Evidence for Peace through Health Impact  3. The COVID "Notes"  4. American Fragility during and after the COVID Pandemic: The Role to Date of Health Professionals and Health Professional Associations  Part II: Increasing public trust in the United States; The critical role of health professionals in rebuilding the public health system and decreasing fragility.  5. COVID-19 and the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Crisis: Tragedy, Positive Changes, and Resilience  6. COVID-19 Crisis Creates Opportunities for Community Health Resilience Plan: Community Health Workers at the Center  7. Fitting Community Health Resilience Plan (CHRP) into the Existing Healthcare Delivery Patchwork: The Politics of CHRP  8. Building Trust in Public Health: Coordinating our Public Health and Acute Care Systems  9. Reform of our National and International Organizations: Leadership, Trust, Power – and Money  10. What Can Health Professionals Do to Better Address This and Future Pandemics?  11. Health Professionals Can Have an Even Greater Impact on This and Future Pandemics: Final Arguments and a Call to Action


    Norbert Goldfield is CEO of the bipartisan Ask Nurses and Doctors (www.asknursesdoctors.com) that organizes health professionals in support of political candidates favoring health reform. His previous book, also published with Routledge, Peace Building through Women’s Health (2021), builds on his peace through health work with Israelis and Palestinians (www.healingdivides.org).

    'Dr Norbert Goldfield is a "Renaissance Physician." His interests and experience range from local to global. He is both an idealist and realist whose hopes and thoughts lead to action. This highly readable book does not merely recount his experience with the COVID-19 pandemic in practice and at the health care organizational level but leads to important thoughts about how pandemics might be managed better in the future.'

    Stephen C. Schoenbaum, MD, MPH, formerly, special advisor to the President, Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and Executive Vice President for Programs, The Commonwealth Fund

    'For decades, Dr. Norbert Goldfield has provided a beacon for what health care and public health should be. Dedicated clinician, important health services researcher, peace activist, and policy analyst, Dr. Goldfield has a unique combination of insights about the changes we need. In this book, drawing on both his own personal stories and science, he brings all of that expertise and wisdom to a focus through the lens of the COVID pandemic, and he offers prescriptions for the future that no one who cares about American health care can afford to ignore.'

    Donald M. Berwick, MD, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

    'In his compelling new book, Dr. Norbert Goldfield puts the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of badly dysfunctional US health care and political systems. How should ethical health professionals respond, not just to the pandemic, but to the broader politico-economic disruptions wrought by the Donald Trump era? Drawing on his careers in medicine, public health, health policy, as well as organizing and activism, he offers clear advice, strategies, and actions for our dangerous times.'

    Prof. John E. McDonough, DrPH, MPA, Professor of Practice, Department of Health Policy & Management, Director, Executive & Continuing Professional Education (ECPE), Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

    'Dr. Goldfield has put together a very readable and meaningful first-hand account of what it means to be a compassionate physician during a global pandemic when the conduct of our public officials frequently influenced patients to ignore science and any notion of community and public health. And recognizing the potential power of organized health professionals to do public good, he acknowledges his disappointment with organized medicine and licensing boards of all health professionals in not stepping up and protecting the reputation of science and the health of the public. This is a must read for all health professionals and office holders who take an oath to protect the public good.'   

    Gordon H. Smith, J.D., former Executive Vice President, Maine Medical Association

    'I’ve known Dr. Goldfield for well over a decade and first met him while I was serving as the Texas Medicaid Director and Deputy Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner. He is as much a visionary now as he was when we first met in 2010. Dr. Goldfield was instrumental in re-engineering how Medicaid programs pay for services – moving away from volume and towards a model based on value. To put it simply he is passionate about improving health. This ambitious book takes the tragedy of COVID and answers the question – what next. This book will be of interest to all – health professionals and the lay public – who want a better response to this and future pandemics. His book is a hopeful, practical, and doable set of specific ideas that we can debate, learn from, and then put into action!'

    Billy R. Millwee, MHA, President/CEO, Millwee & Associates, LLC

    'This book offers a portrait of America in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic – sharing insights of a practicing physician who is also a visionary scholar and activist. The book spans the arc of the pandemic, taking the reader from the early days to the way forward – looking not just at how individuals were impacted but also at the challenges the pandemic poses to U.S. health care and public health systems. Dr. Goldfield closes the book with a "Call to Action" to our health care community and society overall, proposing a community-centered approach to care, strengthening our capacity to reach all community members in times of substantial health challenge that we will inevitably face again in the years to come.'

    E. Lee Rosenthal, PhD, MS, MPH, Community Health Worker Core Consensus (C3) Project Director/PI, FSOM Society, Community, and the Individual Course Director, Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso

    'Dr. Norbert Goldfield is a powerful champion for community-based solutions to the pressing health care challenges our country faces. I urge everyone to read his prescription for how each of us has a role to play in improving outcomes by restoring confidence in America’s public health system and rebuilding trust between health professionals and the communities they serve.'

    Congressman Jim McGovern, House of Representatives