Public Health

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Public health refers to social, cultural, economic, and geographic conditions that affect a population's well-being. To assist local, national, and international health agencies and organizations, RAND conducts research on public health issues including disaster preparedness and recovery; surveillance, prevention, and management of infectious disease outbreaks; screening for and prevention of chronic diseases; and ways to strengthen the public health infrastructure.

  • A teenage girl tired in the driver's seat, photo by piranka/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Why Early School Start Times Are a Threat to Public Health

    Apr 20, 2017

    Sleep-deprived teens are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes and to abuse drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes — all of which are public health concerns. But delaying school start times remains challenging for many districts.

  • Over 5,000 weapons confiscated from criminals in Los Angeles County and collected through a gun buyback program were  melted and reformed as steel in Rancho Cucamonga, California, July 2013, photo by David McNew/Reuters

    Commentary

    Gun Violence: Where Is the Research That Might Save Lives?

    Nov 5, 2015

    Gun violence is an important public health problem that accounts for more than 33,000 deaths each year in the United States. But in 1996, Congress stripped the CDC of funding for any research that could be associated with gun control advocacy. The lack of CDC funding has deterred researchers.

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