Assignment: Foundations of Health HLT 205

Assignment: Foundations of Health HLT 205

Health Care Timeline


It is critical to identify, investigate, and comprehend the history and foundations of health care in the United States because this will serve as the foundation for understanding health care systems throughout this course and in practice. Students must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the framework and dates of events, as well as clearly demonstrating the impact and significance of these events in the medical field.

You must create a timeline that includes at least ten significant dates in the history of health care for this assignment. Include the following items in your schedule:

Important events or epochs in health care and their consequences

Figures of note and their contributions to health care.

The establishment of various health-related organizations.

In addition to the timeline, include a 500-word summary, written in third person, of your predictions for how current health care reform policies will impact the future of health care.

This assignment requires two references (at a minimum) in addition to your textbook.

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U.S. Health Care History and Foundations

Health care delivery is an evolving practice with significant developments over time. Understanding the historical developments is a foundation of better knowledge of how the health care system works and potential changes as time advances. Amid health care evolution, influential persons have made massive contributions that have shaped the health practice multi-dimensionally. The purpose of this paper is to explore significant dates, major developments, and the link between health determinants and population health.

Significant Dates in the History of Health Care

Important Eras and Impacts (Harvard Medical School, 2023)
Significant Date: 1799 (small pox vaccine)

Explanation: Benjamin Waterhouse discovered the smallpox vaccine, paving the way for advanced procedures for disease control (Esparza, 2020).

Significant Date: 1846 (anesthesia discovery)

Explanation: John Collins demonstrated the use of anesthesia in surgery

Significant Date: 1922- insulin discovery

Explanation: Eliott Joslin introduced insulin in diabetes care, subsequently establishing the Joslin Diabetes Center (Barbetti & Taylor, 2019; Harvard Medical School, 2023).

Significant Date: pap smear- 1945

Explanation: a major discovery for the detection of cervical cancer.

Significant Date: 1954 (oral contraceptives)

Explanation: the discovery paved the way for effective birth control.

Significant Date: 1964 (human blood storage)

Explanation: helped to maintain blood quality hence saving lives.

Significant Date: 1968 (telemedicine)

Explanation: this was a great discovery for facilitating remote health care delivery.

Significant Date: 1979 (magnetic resonance imaging [MRI])

Explanation: a vital discovery for diagnosing illness and injury.

Significant Date: 1990s (cancer therapy)

Explanation: Alfred Goldberg and colleagues initiated the basic investigations for proteasome-inhibiting cancer therapy.

Significant Date: 2003 (multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment)

Explanation: research by the Global Health and Social Medicine demonstrated how multidrug-resistant tuberculosis could be treated via community-based treatment models.

Significant Date: 2003 (source of preeclampsia)

Explanation: Israel Deaconess researchers established the cause of preeclampsia, a leading cause of pregnancy complications worldwide.


Link between Health Determinants and Population Health

All populations deserve equitable care that does not discriminate against them based on race, religion, culture, and other factors. Inevitably, people live in communities with varying resources, vulnerabilities, and health promotion practices. Health determinants are a leading cause of this variance and majorly comprise circumstances and the environment. To a large extent, determinants of health entail people’s geographic locations, genetics, social relationships, and conditions of their environment (Zhang & Xiang, 2019). From a health dimension, outcomes are multidimensional since populations experience health and illness differently depending on their knowledge, attitude, and access to essential services. The implication is that health outcomes will always vary across populations due to the inevitable differences in health determinants.

A close evaluation of selected health determinants can effectively demonstrate their impacts on population health. For instance, income and social status differences contribute to health disparities that cannot be overlooked when evaluating population health. Health research shows that people with a higher income have better health incomes than low-income populations (Zhang & Xiang, 2019). A high income allows people to access and afford health care services when needed. It also allows them to participate in multiple health promotion practices, including timely screening and healthy eating. Consequently, a wider gap between populations’ incomes contributes to a proportional difference in their health.

Other significant health determinants include education and the physical environment. Like income levels, low education levels are associated with poor health and high-stress levels (Raghupathi & Raghupathi, 2020). It also impedes healthy living since people adopt inappropriate health promotion interventions. Consequently, low education levels increase the need for population-centered health promotion programs to prevent diseases in such populations. The physical environment includes safe communities, working conditions, and access to safe water and clean air. In many areas, unsafe water and air increase infection rates, lowering the community’s health scores overall. Airborne diseases like pulmonary tuberculosis are widespread in areas with poor air quality (Dimala & Kadia, 2022). The inevitable differences across communities prompt interventions and health promotion programs specific to people’s needs. A communal approach to these problems is vital to preventing disparities and improving the effectiveness of the recommended solutions.

The Future of Health Care

Health care delivery continues evolving multi-dimensionally. Health care reforms address issues revolving around equity, value, and quality of care. Their continuous and effective implementation will be instrumental in the evolution of future health care through more accessibility and value. In the current practice, reforms through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have improved insurance coverage for low-income populations (Buettgens et al., 2021). Expanding the coverage will continue increasing health care access since more people will afford health care services. More value will be achieved through reforms focusing on value-based care. The basic principle of value-based care is compensation based on health outcomes instead of care volume (Teisberg et al., 2020). Consequently, health care professionals will focus more on higher efficiency and quality to achieve the desired outcomes. Amid these developments, population health needs will prompt more innovation to improve access and care quality. Such innovations include telehealth to ensure rural and marginalized communities can access health care services promptly and conveniently.


Health care history is diverse, and nursing practitioners should be conversant with its developments over time. The significant dates in the history of health care demonstrate major discoveries that were instrumental in advancing health care. As other contributions continue impacting health care, further advancement through reforms is inevitable. Therefore, outcomes such as increased access and more focus on value-based care should be expected.


Barbetti, F., & Taylor, S. I. (2019). Insulin: still a miracle after all these years. The Journal of Clinical Investigation129(8), 3045–3047.

Buettgens, M., Blavin, F., & Pan, C. (2021). The Affordable Care Act Reduced Income Inequality In The US: Study examines the ACA and income inequality. Health Affairs40(1), 121-129.

Dimala, C. A., & Kadia, B. M. (2022). A systematic review and meta-analysis on the association between ambient air pollution and pulmonary tuberculosis. Scientific Reports12(1), 11282.

Esparza, J. (2020). Three different paths to introduce the smallpox vaccine in early 19th century United States. Vaccine38(12), 2741–2745.

Harvard Medical School. (2023). Timeline of discovery.

Raghupathi, V., & Raghupathi, W. (2020). The influence of education on health: an empirical assessment of OECD countries for the period 1995–2015. Archives of Public Health78(1), 1-18.

Teisberg, E., Wallace, S., & O’Hara, S. (2020). Defining and implementing value-based health care: a strategic framework. Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges95(5), 682–685.

Zhang, S., & Xiang, W. (2019). Income gradient in health-related quality of life—The role of social networking time. International Journal for Equity In Health18(1), 1-10.