Public health seeks to advance the common health as the common good, standing for policies that improve health status, reduce health disparities, lower rates or early or premature death. This community as democratic purpose.
The community as differing views, as opening up different ways of thinking about problems. Because of William Haddon, Jr., and Ralph Nader, we think about highway traffic safety differently, as problems not with bad drivers, accidents, and so forth but as 'preventing damaging injury exchanges'.
Community offers more points of intervention: agent, hosts, and environment. Safer cars prevent damaging energy exchanges (agents); protect hosts with passive and active design (seat belt laws, safer highways, fewer road hazards like rigid, sharp structures, and so forth.
We enlarged the circle of responsibility, creating more people and options for prevention: car manufacturers, highway designers, passengers, ambulance personnel, emergency medicine skills, and so forth. Collective action often requires democratically imposed rules for us.
We learn to “communalize risk,” another term for facing risk together, as a group. This is particularly important in widespread risk with relatively low odds for any given participant. AkA, “Some things we do together.”
Again, compassion for those “statistical lives” that may be lost given the “odds” of a practice, enterprise, etc.
Public health as Social Justice, communitas democracy, as “rigging the odds for us together.”
The community for a public or democratic purpose: the goal of “Healthy People” is to lower cancer levels by 2020 to…. Our smoking levels to 10 percent by 2010. Community goals.
The community as 'We Intentions'. It is not only difficult for the government to intervene with this or that individual to promote their health; it is impossible. The community as building the World of We. The community as “the way we act here,” or what Joseph Tussman calls “We Intentions.”