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Monograph Menu
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Director's Foreword
Table of Contents
Tables and Figures
Navigating Health Futures
Valuing Conditions
Crafting Conditions
Perceiving Dynamic Conditions
Reorienting Public Health Work
Transforming Conditions
Reflecting on Public. Health. Work.
About the Author
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Hygeia’s Constellation
Navigating Health Futures in a Dynamic and Democratic World

Hygeia's Constellation - Navigating health futures in a dynamic and democratic world

Bobby Milstein

Imagining how to create a city in which life would be good is Hygeia’s art, which is far more complex [than swallowing a pill]. For a city in which life would be good implies that there is none of that noise to which we adapt by losing our hearing, none of those fumes to which we adapt by developing chronic bronchitis, and none of those constructions that prevent the eye from venturing to the horizon. Yes, that’s Hygeia’s art, but it can also become a science, a science that tries to understand the basic requirements permitting human nature to express itself totally. 
Dubos and Escande, 1979:87

This report examines how public health work is transforming and reorienting in the context of contemporary challenges. It concentrates on several linked innovations in thinking and action, set against historical examples and current trends. With those directions in mind, it then considers the pragmatic work that we must now do, as citizens of a pluralistic and increasingly fast-moving world, to assure safer, healthier conditions for ourselves and for generations to come.

Foreword by CDC Director, Julie L. Gerberding.

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Suggested citation
Milstein B. Hygeia's constellation: navigating health futures in a dynamic and democratic world. Atlanta, GA: Syndemics Prevention Network, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2008.  Available at

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Contact Information
Bobby Milstein, PhD, MPH
Syndemics Prevention Network | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Tel: 770-488-5528 | E-mail: | Web:

Page last reviewed: March 12, 2008
Page last modified: March 12, 2008

Content source: Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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