Public Health Heroes Campaign
A GLIMPSE INTO THE PUBLIC HEALTH HEROES CAMPAIGN
Written by Marley Baughman
California State University, Chico Student
Member of HPA, 2020
The Health Professionals Association (HPA) at Chico State has been helping to expand the Public Health Heroes Campaign through the club’s social media platforms on Instagram, as well as on Facebook. The campaign is led by Kristy Bird MaKieve, from Butte-Glenn Medical Society (BGMS) and Healthy Rural California. This campaign is a joint partnership with Sacramento’s NP3 high school students, as well as Chico State’s very own Public Health and Health Administration Department. Our goal is to recognize leaders in public health and inform the public about their stories and contributions.
The HPA is a club for anyone interested in the topic of public health. Whether you’re looking to enhance your network, get involved in the community, and/or build your resume, volunteer opportunities are always being scouted for members. This is a great club for those looking to gain future career insights and learn about opportunities from guest speakers from a variety of public health occupations.
A health hero is someone who recognized or admired by the public for their outstanding achievements in their particular field of work. Healthcare providers have been in high demand. Gaining insight into the history of well-known health heroes will only inspire our future health care providers to be prominent in their field and more employable with a strive for success.
“Sometimes the beauty of public health efforts is in the reflection of history, and in the absence of worry, fear, illness, and death.” -Kristy Bird MaKieve
The 30+ posts are made available alongside the public health hero descriptions. Please feel free to save the posts and descriptions to share them with others!
In the latter half of the 1800s, Oscar Stansbury was a member of the California State Board of Health, which helped make regulations that concerned public health issues. During 1906, he made and passed the California Pure Food and Drug Act of 1907, which forbids the sale of wrongly labeled foods or goods. Stansbury also helped to set up the Bureau of Vital Statistics, a bureau that focuses on obtaining statistics, such as the number of births, deaths, or marriage in the state of California. In 1910, he would go to the Panama Canal Zone to study cases of malaria and yellow fever. Healthy Rural California chooses to highlight Dr. Stansbury first in our series because he practiced in Chico which is in Butte County where his home still stands as he built it in the late 1800s. During his time as a district surgeon in Chico, Dr. Stansbury set up a traveling train car for teaching communities about home hygiene. Dr. Stansbury and his son, also a physician, were leaders in statewide and local organized medicine through what are now called the California Medical Association and the Butte-Glenn Medical Society. Find out more at stansburyhome.org.
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) wanted to help the poor and sick, a lifestyle completely opposite of hers. She wanted to become a nurse despite the profession not being respected at the time. Eventually, she did gain permission to go to Pastor Theodore Fliedner’s hospital in Germany and received training from the Sisters of Mercy in Paris. At the age of 33, she established a name for herself in the nursing community. During the Crimean War, Nightingale and a team of nurses helped decrease the death count by improving the unsanitary conditions in the British camp. They brought supplies, food, sanitation, cleanliness, and provided support and care to the individuals, turning the death rate from 40% to 2%. She continued onwards to improve the conditions of hospitals, along with publishing books that provided information and advice like patient care and safe hospital environments. She was also a mathematician. Despite her own illness, she advocated for safe healthcare practices her entire life.
Mirta Roses Periago (born in 1945) is an Argentinian epidemiologist and physician. She is the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). She has been a strong advocate for public health reforms working to help developing countries meet the millennial goal that would drastically improve health in developing countries. She is the first woman elected to be head of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau this organization is the longest-running public health organization in the world. She would speak out on public health issues or problems calling for actions to fix the root of the problem.
John Snow, a 19th-century physician, is considered to be the father of modern epidemiology which looks at incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health. Snow hypothesized that water contaminated with waste and the spreading of tiny parasites was the cause of cholera. His idea was dismissed at first as the prevailing belief was that “miasma” or poisonous air was the cause of cholera. By tracking cholera’s spread, Snow’s theory later proved to be true. Also, in the late 1840s, he invented an inhaler that could supply an anesthetic known as ether for the first time. He never patented this device so that others could copy it. Not only that, but he never patented anything else he invented. The world would likely be different without Snow’s discoveries.
Virginia Apgar was an American obstetrical anesthesiologist with many accomplishments throughout her life, including becoming the first female professor at Columbia University. She had a huge impact on public health by creating the 10-point Apgar score. This score helps determine a newborn baby’s skin color, heart rate, motion, reflexes, and if they are having trouble breathing within the first 1 and 5 minutes after delivery. This discovery in 1952 was so effective that we still use it today in modern medicine to determine if a baby needs medical attention immediately after birth.
Lee Jong-Wook was the director-general of the World Health Organization in the 1980s. Dr. Jong-Wook made public health a top priority on the global political agenda. He was known to act similarly as a politician, making connections with world leaders and other major political powers. The support he gained from world leaders enabled him to fulfill his promise to fight infectious diseases and tobacco-related illnesses. He also used his standing to direct the World Health Organization’s funds to where they would be most useful. He fought tuberculosis, polio, malaria, and AIDS. He was an important leader in the fight against tuberculosis and vaccine-preventable deaths of children.
Sir Edwin Chadwick, knighted in 1889 for his contributions to sanitary reform in Britain, was both a lawyer and social reformer. In 1842, working for the Poor Law Commission, Chadwick wrote a Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population, revealing the impoverished truth of workers. Chadwick’s solution received initial backlash as he recommended an increase in rates, also known as taxes, to improve overall health. It was only after the cholera outbreak of 1848 when people began to listen. He campaigned for and succeeded in implementing the 1848 Public Health Act, creating the first Board of Health where local regions would be appointed a medical practitioner to encourage people to care for their health. Chadwick’s Public Health Act was the first step to improve public health throughout all of Britain, setting the foundation for a healthier future.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was established in Seattle, Washington in 2000 by Bill and Melinda Gates. They are one of the largest private foundations, with 10 locations all over the world. The foundation’s goal is to provide “healthy and productive lives” with impact around the globe. In the United States, the foundation’s mission is to provide equal opportunity in education and life. In developing countries, the foundation aims to give a “chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.” Eradicating Malaria, which is transmitted through mosquitoes, is one of their greatest global public health efforts. The Foundation has worked in 48 states and 138 countries. Their foundation has dozens of issues they are working to solve in the nation and around the world.
Henry Trendly Dean was the head of a Dental Hygiene Unit at the National Institute of Health. Dean’s greatest contribution towards public health was his help in investigating water fluoridation which helped reduce a great problem in human history – tooth decay. His observation of how water fluoride can help reduce dental cavities launched the world into a new era of dental hygiene. Fluoride continues to be dental science’s greatest weapon against tooth decay. Almost every toothpaste contains fluoride as its main ingredient which has benefited almost 200 million Americans and many more worldwide. Dean’s greatest contribution to public health was his finding of how water fluoride will help prevent and reduce tooth decay, having an impact on lowering the cavity rates in future generations.
Sara Josephine Baker was the first director of the New York City Bureau of Child Hygiene. She was inspired to go to medical school by her fathers’ passing in her teenage years. She founded the American Child Hygiene Association and became president in 1917. She made the connection that poverty led to ill health and she started this activity in New York City within immigrant and lower-income communities. She stated that “Six times safer to be a soldier in the trenches of France than to be a baby born in the United States.” She fought for those communities that were affected. Health disparities and social determinants of health are still significant concerns today.
As the founder of the concept of vaccines and the father of immunology, Edward Jenner made a huge breakthrough for medicine around the world. Jenner was an English physician and scientist in the late 1700s. He had a theory of what would make people, especially children, immune to smallpox. He did an experiment with his theory on an 8-year-old named James Phipps. Soon after, the child became immune to smallpox. In 1798, his results were published and became known globally. Today, we still provide smallpox immunizations. Thanks to Jenner, one of the world’s most feared diseases is now eradicated. Many other vaccines help repress and eradicate other diseases.
Roberto Morales Ojeda was the president of the 67th World Health Assembly and a Minister of Public Health of Cuba. Morales Ojeda helped many countries realize that they need to improve their health systems in order to fight outbreaks. He highlighted Cuba’s achievements in health while encouraging other countries to do the same. As a president of the World Health Assembly, he was able to address important public health issues around the world. Cuba sent 200 doctors to help other countries respond to the Ebola outbreak in 2014.
Louis Pasteur was a microbiologist and a French chemist who was one of the most remarkable founders of medical microbiology. Pasteur’s contributions to public health were through his discovery that microorganisms cause fermentation and disease. He applied his knowledge on microbes and fermentation and developed a process called pasteurization. Pasteur used a procedure in which he heated 50–60 °C (120–140 °F) to prevent contamination. This not only saved the beer, wine, and silk industries in France, it is also a widely known method and is used today to kill organisms that contribute to the aging process and applied to many foods and beverages. Pasteurized foods are now widely accepted as safer foods for the public.
Milton J. Rosenau was an American public health official and professor, best known for his influential impact in public health in the early twentieth century. With a background as a health official and educator, Rosenau published influential textbooks called The Milk Question and Preventable Medicine and Hygiene in 1912 and 1913. In 1900, raw milk remained the norm due to the taste. Rosenau discovered at low temperatures slow pasteurization kills pathogens without spoiling the taste of the milk. Although it took another generation after Rosenau’s discovery, his method is used all around the United States for pasteurized milk.
Alexander Fleming was a Scottish physician-scientist, most notable for his discovery of penicillin. While serving as marksman in the London Scottish Regiment of the Territorial Army, Fleming was convinced by the captain of the rifle club in St. Mary’s to pursue research rather than surgery. He was introduced to Sir Almroth Wright, a member of the rifle club as well as a pioneer in immunology and vaccine research. Wright agreed to mentor Fleming. When World War I broke out, Fleming served as a captain in the Army Medical Corps. It was here that he saw the death of many of his fellow soldiers, not necessarily from wounds inflicted upon them during battle, but from infections. At the time, the only way to treat infections was through antiseptics, which usually only made things worse. During this time, Fleming wrote an article discussing the presence of anaerobic bacteria in wounds that proliferate deep antiseptics. His research, at first, was not accepted but he remained committed. Later, he discovered an enzyme with weak antibacterial properties he named lysozyme. This would be the foundation for his work in the discovery of penicillin. In 1928, Fleming began experimenting with staphylococcal bacteria. There was an uncovered petri dish next to the window that developed mold spores and Fleming noticed that the bacteria in the vicinity of the mold was dying. He concluded that this was caused by “mold juice” which he named penicillin. His findings were met with lackluster attitudes from the scientific community. It wasn’t until 1940 when two other scientists found a method of successfully utilizing penicillin, was the antibiotic accepted and mass production and distribution methods were developed for World War II. Fleming’s discovery of penicillin revolutionized medicine and is the reason that many people who contract bacterial infections do not have to worry about losing their lives.
Margaret Mead was an American Anthropologist in the 20th century. Her main goal was to apply what she knew about anthropology to issues such as mental health and world hunger, two aspects of public health that continue to be addressed today. She studied many different cultures across the world and discovered that modern-day personality traits of individuals are shaped by our culture rather than being hereditary. While Margaret is more known as a leader in anthropology, she certainly influenced aspects of public health.
In the early 20th century, cigarettes were popular and widely accepted. It wasn’t until concrete evidence was found by Dr. Wynder that people began to consider the effects of smoking on their health. Studies attempting to link lung cancer and disease to smoking had been conducted in the past, but not to the scale and thoroughness of Wynder’s work, which included his associate, Evarts Graham. The Journal of the American Medical Association is responsible for publishing their findings in 1950, where they detailed 684 cases of death resulting from smoking. Wynder dedicated the rest of his life to studying the effects of smoking, writing numerous scientific papers, and founding the American Health Foundation in 1969, working as the medical director. Despite any criticism or backlash, Wynder may have received for questioning such a popular activity as smoking, he never stopped pushing. Wynder’s work created a necessary skepticism towards the tobacco industry and established foundations that continue to impact our public health today. Unfortunately, smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in our county, accounting for about half a million deaths each year.
Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951) was an African American woman whose cervical cancer cells established the HeLa cell line. The HeLa cells are used to test radiation, cosmetics, toxins, and other chemicals used on human cells. They’re the oldest and one of the most important cell lines in medical research. They’ve also been helpful with gene mapping and studying human diseases, especially cancer. Henrietta Lacks died from cervical cancer and scientists used the cancer cells to develop the HeLa cell line as a way to test chemicals and study human diseases without bringing harm to the patients. Because her cells were taken without consent or knowledge by her family, Henrietta Lacks has also become the symbol for patient consent for research and clinical trials, as well as a voice for health equity and social justice for African Americans. This passage from Nature.com explains the greater public health influence of Henrietta Lacks: “… the story of Henrietta Lacks also illustrates the racial inequities that are embedded in the US research and health-care systems. Lacks was a Black woman. The hospital where her cells were collected was one of only a few that provided medical care to Black people. None of the biotechnology or other companies that profited from her cells passed any money back to her family. And, for decades after her death, doctors and scientists repeatedly failed to ask her family for consent as they revealed Lacks’s name publicly, gave her medical records to the media, and even published her cells’ genome online. Following an outcry, the genome was soon removed. Nature later published the genome of another HeLa cell after the Lacks family reached an agreement with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to approve its release.”
Charles Menninger was an American physician (1862 – 1953). Menninger established the Menninger Sanitarium and Psychopathic Hospital with his sons in 1925. Menninger noticed the lack of psychiatric care and lack of care for mentally ill patients. When his sons finished their residency, they established the hospital. Menninger’s practice started to draw attention and in 1926, he opened a hospital for mentally ill children. Menninger’s findings were respected in 1930 when he wrote a bestselling book “The Human Mind.” In 1946, The Menninger School of Psychiatry was established, where it became the largest psychiatric training school in the nation. Menninger was responsible for bringing awareness to a practice that was not given much attention to in the early part of the 1900s. Systems of care improve public health for all, including mental health.
Nicknamed “the angel of the battlefield,” Clara Barton put her medical knowledge to use on the wounded Union soldiers during the American Civil War. Later seeing the distraught soldiers after battle, she felt it was necessary to move medical supplies to the front lines. Leaving such impressions on the army, Abraham Lincoln elected her to ‘General Correspondent for the friends of the Paroled Prisoners.’ With a group of other workers, Clara was to find and write back to families about the fates of dead soldiers and eventually wrote an estimated 63,000 letters. After the war, she traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, and learned about the Red Cross. Returning to the U.S., she used her political powers to persuade President Chester Arthur to sign the Geneva Treaty, leading to the American Association of the Red Cross. The American Red Cross continues today to help provide public health support and services after disasters.
William Worrall Mayo was the start of the Mayo family’s legacy. Mayo first received his degree in Chemistry from Owens College at Manchester and later moved to America. As he pursued his medical degrees, the Dakota War erupted forcing many doctors including Mayo to head to Minnesota. In the town of New Elm, emergency hospitals became centers of treatment, leading Mayo to become an examining surgeon. In 1863, Mayo moved to Rochester to start a new life. When a terrible tornado hit the area, Mayo opened a nonprofit medical center and medical school, called the Mayo Clinic, to aid all patients. His sons, Dr. James Mayo and Dr. Charles Horace, were involved with the founding of the Mayo Clinic with a focus on helping patients with very difficult cases who would not otherwise receive treatments and sharing their knowledge with other physicians. Dr. Charles Mayo performed many successful operations for cataracts and creating procedures for orthopedic operations. Dr. Charles Mayo served as a member of the Encyclopedia Britannica and he and his brother served in the US Army in WWI. Today, the Mayo Clinic is world-renowned for the treatment of diseases and helping all who are in need of healthcare.
Martha May Eliot was a pioneer in maternal and child health, a leading pediatrician, the first woman admitted into the American Pediatric Society, and an important architect of postwar programs for maternal and child health. Dr. Eliot worked with Edwards A. Park, M.D for her first research community study of rickets. This study established public health measures (dietary supplementation with vitamin D) that could prevent and reverse the early onset of rickets. During World War II, she provided maternity care for more than 1 million servicemen’s wives by administering the Emergency Maternity and Infant Care program. Her accomplishments include directing the National Children’s Bureau Division of Child and Maternal Health, holding influential positions in both the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and being the department chairman of child and maternal health at Harvard University School of Public Health.
Mason Andrews is well-known as the architect of In-Vitro Fertilization. Dr. Andrews and colleagues led the way for IVF to be a safe way to overcome infertility. Since 1981 when the first baby conceived by IVF was born, IVF has become a solution to the public health aspects of infertility. Dr. Andrews specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology and later taught at John Hopkins and Eastern Virginia Medical School, which he helped form. By establishing a medical school in an area of Norfolk where it was greatly needed, Dr. Andrews was able to provide quality access to care, improve health equity and bring economic development to this underserved area. He later served on the Norfolk City Council and as mayor.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation aims to build a Culture of Health that provides and achieves health equity in America. They address many public health factors such as income, location, or discrimination so being healthy becomes an option. The Robert Wood Foundation gives many grants relating to public health and ensuring health equity. These grants include finding creative solutions and ideas for the transformation to becoming healthy, identifying and expanding public policies that have a meaningful impact on health, and they conduct research to gather evidence around key health issues to evaluate and learn from. Robert Wood Johnson II is the founder.
Born August 21, 1947, Dr. Margaret Chan is a Chinese-Canadian physician. She was appointed Director of Health in Hong Kong where she started many new services to help prevent the spread of disease. She was able to establish local and international communications to help improve public health. She served as the director-general of the World Health Organization. In 1997 when the first cases of the H5N1 bird flu virus appeared, she quickly took action. Her order to destroy poultry stock was carried out in only three days. This quick and decisive action helped control the outbreak and prevented any further damage that the disease could have made. In 2003, she helped manage and contain the SARS outbreak, as well.
Christiaan Barnard was the first to conduct a successful heart transplant. At the Groote Schuur Hospital in South Africa, Barnard’s heart surgery program became the world leader for heart transplants. Dr. Barnard helped invent the Barnard Goosen valve, a prosthetic heart valve. Dr. Barnard’s introduction of successful heart transplant techniques and the creation of an effective valve helped save lives around the world.
Charles Edward A. Winslow influenced public health by founding the Yale School of Public Health. According to Yale News, he influenced health care policies and the field locally, nationally, and internationally. Winslow wrote almost six hundred books and articles to address the many different aspects of public health. Some of these topics include poison hazards in the industry, air quality, food poisoning, and many others that would contribute to what he did as an influencer of public health. In the news article written by Yale News, Winslow was the owner of many organizations, and states “Winslow’s definition of public health, written in 1920, helped to shape the discipline and is still, … years later, cited as the standard.” Winslow was a writer, an academic activist, and also an editor of influential publications. Winslow was considered a great speaker when he became the editor for the American Journal of Public Health. As stated by Yale News, Winslow said “Public Health is the science and the art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical health and efficiency.” His great hope was that each citizen would realize his public health findings and help improve health for all.
Dr. Jonas Salk was born in 1914 in New York City. He was the first member of his family to go to college, and he earned his medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine in 1939. He then became a scientist physician at Mount Sinai Hospital. He advanced to the position of Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and learned the methodology of vaccine development. Salk created a vaccine that eradicated the poliovirus, believing it could immunize without the risk of infecting the patient. He gave it to himself and other volunteers, and they all developed antibodies with zero negative reactions to the vaccine. His vaccine was then tested on a million children, announced safe, and distributed widely. And in 1963, Salk founded the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.
Harvey Cushing was a greatly influential and renowned surgeon in the field of neuroscience. Not only was Cushing greatly successful with hundreds of surgeries, but he also recorded much of patient histories and paid close attention to the events and details of each surgery. During his time at John Hopkins University, the Pathology Department misplaced one of his specimens, which he needed to examine after being removed from an operation. This misplacement led to Cushing pushing for an archive for brain and tumor specimens, for case studies, and a much more comprehensive and well-regulated registry. This archive, now known as the Cushing Brain Tumor Registry at Yale University, provides a history of neurological medicine. His contribution to public health is significant as researchers can now utilize many previous samples and medical histories for their own research, and hopefully make some more findings in neuroscience.
Alice Hamilton, a U.S physician born in 1869, was the first U.S physician to focus on discovering and combating occupational illnesses. Upon completing medical school, Hamilton took on a position as a teacher at the Women’s Medical School of Northwestern University. She also moved into Jane Adams’ Hull House. While staying there, she opened a well-baby clinic for families living in the neighborhood. It was during her time running this clinic that she realized what was plaguing the working class: strange deaths, lead palsy, “wrist drop” and a high number of widows. Their experiences encouraged Hamilton to begin looking into occupational illnesses, a field that was little known or understood in the United States at the time. In 1908, she published her first article about occupational diseases and was quickly recognized as an expert on the topic. Shortly after, she began exploring occupational disorders and their social consequences. Using “shoe-leather epidemiology” as well as toxicology, she was able to pioneer occupational epidemiology and industrial health. Her findings were so profound, sweeping reforms went into place quickly to improve the health of industrial workers. Her findings allowed for better working conditions and way of life for the working class of the United States.
Charles R. Drew was a scholar and surgeon and would go on to earn his Doctor of Science in Surgery at Columbia University. His thesis would be known as “Banked Blood” where he studied every factor in blood storage at the Presbyterian Hospital. There he found that plasma could be stored without refrigeration and stay completely usable, unlike blood. Plasma also substituted for any blood type. This became increasingly vital information considering WWII was being fought in Europe. Not only was this plasma vital for injured soldiers, but it was important in all of the medical worlds as well. We can most likely see his contribution anytime plasma is being used during resuscitation, as it was his research that found this was possible. Blood banks are now essential for saving lives around the world. A medical school in Southern California is named after Dr. Drew.
Theodore Kocher was an award-winning physician and researcher for advancements in the medical and surgical fields. He witnessed Thomas Spencer Wells, another successful doctor, perform Switzerland’s first oophorectomy at a young age, which is when ovaries are removed. This significant moment motivated him to become a surgeon later working at the Surgical Clinic of Bern University. Switzerland’s mortality rate kept increasing after performing total thyroidectomies which would often birth new symptoms and issues with their patients. Kocher discovered the patterns between the surgery and effects on patients to the removal of the thyroid gland. He implemented oral therapy for patients in attempts to balance their gland rather than removing the whole of it. This significantly decreased Switzerland’s mortality rate bringing a new perspective to the medical field around the world.
Ancel Keys, born in 1904 and was an American physiologist who studied how diet can affect a person’s health. Keys had a role in modern-day cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemiology, but he’s particularly known for two popular diets. During World War II, he studied starvation in men and was able to create balanced meals, later known as K rations, for the soldiers. He published two volumes of Biology of Human Starvation (1950). He and his wife, Margaret, went on to publicize the Mediterranean diet. Keys advocates for reasonably low-fat diets, straying away from the North American habit of the heaps of food consumed. His legacy would still continue after his death in 2004, as his recommendations and research have greatly impacted the U.S diet and the decreasing CVD.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was founded in 1930 by the creator of the Kellogg brand of cereals, William Keith Kellogg. Kellogg was concern about the health and welfare of children. He was attentive to many communities to assess children’s needs and help with treatments. The foundation’s vision is for a nation to utilize its resources for a promising future for all children regardless of race and background. The foundation responded to the Great Depression Era in partnership with the Michigan Community Health Project which resulted in improved K-12 education and established public health departments. During the war years, healthcare training and nurses were the focus of the foundation where many U.S. medical schools were funded. The mission and vision of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation continue to thrive in the present day by creating opportunities in communities for vulnerable children to reach their full potential.
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist who aims to address climate change. In August 2018, she began a movement by consistently missing class to go on strike on Fridays holding a sign that read, “School Strike for Climate.” This would result in more than 20,000 students around the globe joining her movement as her protest went viral with the hashtag #FridaysForFuture. Across Europe, she participated in strikes and chose to travel by train to limit her own carbon footprint. Thunberg took a whole year off from school in 2019 to focus on campaigning, attending climate conferences and uniting with other student protests globally. At the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September 2019, she called out and criticized world leaders for failing young people. Thunberg has addressed governments to take more action in cutting global emissions around the world. Her voice continues to be a contribution in tackling environmental issues and towards a better future for our new generations to come.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian neurologist and known as the father of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is a clinical method to target the conscious and unconscious to treat mental disorders. He developed the Psychoanalytic Theory, which proposed there were three components of the human mind (the id, ego, and superego). Freud also proposed the Psychosexual Theory where children go through different stages of conflict to develop their full personality. He laid down fundamentals and foundations from where future psychological work is derived from. Because of Freud’s work and despite critics, the mind has been explored and analyzed for the greater development of mental health.
The Public Health Institute’s (PHI) focus is to improve health, equity, and wellness through new research discoveries along with public health policies. Research from the PHI was done on how Twitter Bots and Russian Trolls spread misconceptions and misinformation about vaccination. Researchers analyzed 1,793,690 tweets collected from July 14, 2014, to September 26, 2017. They found that the Twitter hashtag “VaccinateUS” was connected to Russian troll accounts to spread negative and antivaccine messages. It was also found that Twitter bots distribute malware and spam are disguised as human users to spread antivaccine messages. The PHI has concluded that bots and trolls influence online public health communications. They suggest that public health practitioners should fight and resolve the negative messages to combat the false information spread rather than the trolls. The research done here is vital in today’s COVID-19 pandemic. Negative information about vaccines can create hesitancy and distrust towards healthcare professionals as many people are now turning to the online platform for public health information. We need to address misconceptions about vaccines as false information can potentially be harmful to our health.