More than 20,000 views and still counting after 20 months

Thanks to everyone who has taken time to visit my blog focussing, mostly, on public health and health. I continue examining issues with the additional perspectives of history, culture, personal experience, and enterprise journalism. This month I crossed the 20,000-views threshold. See the screen snapshot below, taken today.

Wordpress's outstanding analytics tools provide a snapshot how many visitors and views have been recorded, in November, and since I launched this blog in late March 2012.
WordPress’s outstanding analytics tools provide a snapshot how many visitors and views have been recorded, in November 2013, and since I launched this blog in late March 2012.

WordPress’s analytics also report the following categories and tags attracted the most eyeballs:

Tags & Commentaries:
Most popular topics you’ve written about

Topic & Views

  • Public Health 81
  • Health 77
  • Travel 57
  • Obesity, Sweden, Sweden, most beautiful women, Sweden has the world’s most beautiful women, infant mortality, life expectancy, Norway, Nordic Countries, public health systems, national public health investments, beauty stereotypes, national stereotypes, national obesity rankings, fat countries, obesity health threats 51
  • Photography 18
  • Native American 12
  • Africa 11
  • Human Rights 10
  • History 10

The most popular post on my blog looks at why Swedes have a reputation for being attractive, and whether that is related to the country’s strong public health system and universal health care. No doubt a fair number of visitors came looking for pictures of blonde Swedes in bikinis, but hopefully came away with some knowledge of how investing in health upstream can pay dividends that are linked to, yes, physical appearance and overall health.

The data are great validation for the idea that first launched this enterprise. It began during a spirited discussion at the University of Washington School of Public Health about the value and validity of training future public health leaders to specialize in publishing in peer-reviewed journals as opposed to open-source communications like WordPress-enabled blogs or social media or non-scientific publications. This is a topic that is being debated by many seeking to improve public health’s relevance for the year 2013 and beyond.

Having public relevancy in the face of funding cuts remains a critical issue in the field of public health, which has seen its workforce at the local level shrink by 44,000 jobs, or nearly a quarter of all workers, since the start of the Great Recession. Budgets in local health jurisdictions have been slashed to the bone according to a national survey of those organizations by the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO).

In fact, I would recommend to anyone contemplating a career in public health, outside of epidemiology or biostatistics, to consider advanced degrees in law, business, or applied health like nursing rather than this field, based on the national employment data. Or future public health leaders can learn through other means how to integrate new tools of communications to engage the public with research, to build support for funding health.

In fact, those who now manage the nation’s graduate public health programs need to use the tools of program evaluation, which they teach in the nation’s finest universities, and engage in a serious discussion if their education model is still working and achieving longer-term goals and ultimately leading to a better public health system and healthier country.

How many MPH graduates in 2013 found jobs within six months? Is that number acceptable? Why train a workforce for many jobs that may not be in high demand or nonexistent, with skills that are not reaching a wide audience, thus preventing the public from knowing what public health is and why it matters?

This will remain a fundamental issue at the heart of the crisis facing the field today and for years to come. Meanwhile, I think there will continue to be a bottoms-up response to how the profession adapts to change in the new era of diminished resources. I hope that this blog will continue to be involved in that larger discussion, and the numbers show that at least some online readers are hungry for information in easier-to-access ways.

My blog changes its name, and a few bits on public health blogging

On Sept. 26, 2012, I did a little behind the scene tweaking to my blog, which now celebrates its seventh month on the air. (I love it.)

I created a subdomain, which means my blog name is now tied to my web site of All past links and references to my blog URL ( will now be linked by my blog URL ( Nothing else has changed. I wanted to link my blogging more with my web site. I also, in the next month or two, plan to reboot my web site and rebuild it to highlight my photography and multimedia in a more user-friendly format. Stay tuned for that.

On an upbeat note, the University of Washington School of Public Health has linked to this blog on its page for prospective new students. I was not expecting that, but it was very refreshing and positive to see. There are some other great bloggers listed there. Way to go public health bloggers, you are the future. For instance, here is how the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health promotes its bloggers, including students (wow, that is a heckuva long name for a school — and I am a UNC-CH alum who took classes there back when I was studying journalism in 1991-93.)

My thinking remains that blogging and other social media tools must be embraced by the field of public health to communicate to wider audiences and to share research from behind the firewall, which prevents the public from accessing many peer-reviewed research articles, where public health traditionally seeks validation and where the field encourages its professionals to publish. To that end, I am confident it will be future graduates of schools like the UW School of Public Health who will create change and transformation in the field to make the concepts and value of public health more accessible and meaningful to the mainstream public and policy-makers.