Five years ago, Public Health Post (PHP) launched as a fresh and focused exploration of public health. The mission then, as it is now, was to “inform and inflect the broader conversation on health and social justice.”
By the end of that first November, the newly born PHP had attracted 6,142 page visits. At 2016’s end, we’d collected a whopping 79,043 pageviews. In a short time, PHP had found a niche, and the work of our home-grown and guest writers from assorted disciplines was reaching people all over the country and the globe.
A host of student fellows, invited scientists and writers, and a stalwart editorial staff have steadied the site these first five years. We’ve taken on the diversity of public health topics — from mental health to religion to food policy to technology — and, in the process, have constantly reminded our readers that everything is public health.
Over the past five years, new articles have arrived five days a week, 48 weeks a year. Databytes, viewpoints, research, and profile pieces fill the PHP archives. The 21,313 page visits in September 2020 demonstrate the success and growth of this platform and the hunger of our growing audience for more.
Fortunately, we aren’t done with our work. The current moment marks a pivotal point in our nation’s history, and PHP will continue to be responsive. The Covid-19 pandemic presents the most significant public health crisis of PHP’s short five years, on top of a racial reckoning in cities across the nation. This month’s election is an opportunity to bolster public health, to take all of its many concerns seriously.
Our twelve focus areas (see figure above) reflect both our staff’s and readers’ interests. We have taken health gaps to heart. We often find ourselves writing about issues of equity. But we know we have room to grow: we can and should focus more on racism, aging, and religion, and how these important topics interact with the public’s health.
PHP fellows have gone on to a variety of careers. Our guest writer list has expanded; journalists, policymakers, academics, CEOs, students, public health workers. Our readers, too: every American state, 150 countries, from Detroit to Dakar. As we celebrate five years, we also reflect on the wide reach and powerful voice of you, our readership. Without you, PHP wouldn’t exist, and more importantly without you, we won’t be able to continue in our attempt to inform a public health that serves all people.
So, thank you for celebrating a happy 5th birthday here at Public Health Post.
Data visualization by Tasha McAbee