Since most health news these days seems to carry the urgency or complexity of discussions on reform, disappointing statistics or lists of behaviors to avoid, it’s nice to hear some good news for a change! Melinda Beck of the Wall Street Journal recently published a list of 20 health care advances to be thankful for this season. They include:
• Life expectancy in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 77.9 years in 2007, the latest year for which statistics are available, continuing a long upward trend. (That's 75.3 years for men and 80.4 years for women.)
• Three out of 10 U.S. schoolchildren aged 5 to 17 in 2007 did not miss a single day of school because of illness or injury during the preceding 12 months.
• The proportion of undernourished children world-wide under five years of age declined to 20% in 2005 from 27% in 1990.
These advances will undoubtedly continue to reduce the need for acute, inpatient health care resources, supporting CHRISTUS’ move to expand our portfolio to include one-third non-acute care. Most importantly, though, Melinda’s article highlighted the fact that life from a wellness perspective is getting measurably better for many people here and abroad.