The field of public health focuses on how to best reduce illness, injury and death in broad populations rather than only for individuals. Prominent among public health interventions are community, systemic and regulatory approaches to preventing many different types of health problems.

In all its work, PIRE employs a public health model. We carry out basic scientific work on threats to health, including drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco use, unintentional injury and unsafe sexual practices. PIRE has a long history of research, evaluation and program development in many of the areas relevant to public health.

In that sense, almost everything on this website could be included here in the Public Health section. Instead this section presents only PIRE's public health work that is not adequately represented in more specific focus areas.

Health Policy

Public health policies can have a powerful impact on individual, group, and community health conditions, longevity, and mortality.  PIRE has carried out a great deal of research, evaluation, and program development in a range of health policies areas, especially as related to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.


Health Services Systems

Programs and policies related to public health and disease prevention must operate within existing health services systems. PIRE projects have helped increase understanding of health systems and their relationship to prevention and treatment.


High Risk Behaviors

Thousands of deaths, injuries, and other health and social problems result from high risk behaviors of various types.  These behaviors include such activities as drinking and driving, risky sexual activity, binge drinking, and illicit drug taking.


Mental Health and Suicide

PIRE researchers are studying multiple aspects of mental health, including the following: the epidemiology and etiology of various mental health conditions (e.g., depression and suicide); the interrelationship between substance use and mental health status; societal costs of mental health conditions; and behavioral health service utilization.



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