The expansive vision of modern public health, "healthy people in healthy communities," is politically charged. This paper offers a justification for this broad vision and offers concrete proposals. By pointing to the poor condition of public health agencies; urging a transition to an intersectoral public health system; promoting the adoption of bold changes in U.S. physical, social, and economic conditions; and endorsing a values shift to a commitment to collective interest in healthier communities, we hope to take a dramatic step toward achieving these aspirations for "healthy people in healthy communities." The authors are on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (Gostin and Martinez) and Committee for Assuring the Health of the Public (Gostin and Boufford). This paper does not.
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