Narrator: This is Science
Today. How do public health departments in communities impact the economy? And
what's the value of investing in public health? These are questions being
studied and analyzed by health policy experts at the University of California,
Berkeley's Petris Center on Healthcare Markets and Consumer Welfare. Richard
Scheffler, director of Petris, explains.
Scheffler: These are very new and important ingredients in looking at what makes the community healthy. At the end of the study, we'll be able to look at every public health department in California and across the country and have a way of calculating their economic and social value to the community.
Narrator: Scheffler says they use established data to look into the membership and participation of various community organizations that help consumers and patients by providing information about doctors and hospitals.
Scheffler: They also help us out sometimes with some very positive ways of changing the way individuals behave in communities — you know, smoking, noise, establishing social mores.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.