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Preventive Medicine for Person, Place, and Planet: Revisiting the Concept of High-Level Wellness in the Planetary Health Paradigm

1
Department of Paediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
2
The ORIGINS Project, Telethon Kids Institute, Perth Children’s Hospital, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
3
inVIVO Planetary Health, Research Group of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), West New York, NJ 10704, USA
4
Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Public Health, Griffin Hospital, Derby, CT 06418, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020238
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Experts in preventive medicine and public health have long-since recognized that health is more than the absence of disease, and that each person in the ‘waiting room’ and beyond manifests the social/political/economic ecosystems that are part of their total lived experience. The term planetary health—denoting the interconnections between the health of person and place at all scales—emerged from the environmental and preventive health movements of the 1970–1980s. Roused by the 2015 Lancet Commission on Planetary Health report, the term has more recently penetrated mainstream academic and medical discourse. Here, we discuss the relevance of planetary health in the era of personalized medicine, gross environmental concerns, and a crisis of non-communicable diseases. We frame our discourse around high-level wellness—a concept of vitality defined by Halbert L. Dunn (1896–1975); high-level wellness was defined as an integrated method of functioning which is oriented toward maximizing the potential of individuals within the total lived environment. Dunn maintained that high-level wellness is also applicable to organizations, communities, nations, and humankind as a whole—stating further that global high-level wellness is a product of the vitality and sustainability of the Earth’s natural systems. He called for a universal philosophy of living. Researchers and healthcare providers who focus on lifestyle and environmental aspects of health—and understand barriers such as authoritarianism and social dominance orientation—are fundamental to maintaining trans-generational vitality at scales of person, place, and planet. View Full-Text
Keywords: planetary health; preventive medicine; clinical ecology; social justice; health disparities; ecosystems; non-communicable diseases; dysbiosis; natural environments; vitality and sustainability planetary health; preventive medicine; clinical ecology; social justice; health disparities; ecosystems; non-communicable diseases; dysbiosis; natural environments; vitality and sustainability
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Prescott, S.L.; Logan, A.C.; Katz, D.L. Preventive Medicine for Person, Place, and Planet: Revisiting the Concept of High-Level Wellness in the Planetary Health Paradigm. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 238.

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