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What is Public Health?

"Public health refers to all organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole" (World Health Organization).  
The three main public health functions are:
  • The assessment and monitoring of the health of communities and populations at risk to identify health problems and priorities.
  • The formulation of public policies designed to solve identified local and national health problems and priorities.
  • To assure that all populations have access to appropriate and cost-effective care, including health promotion and disease prevention services."
The ten essential services of public health are:
  • Monitor health status to identify community health problems.
  • Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
  • Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
  • Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.
  • Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
  • Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
  • Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
  • Assure a competent public health and personal health care workforce.
  • Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
  • Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.

The Three Core Functions (in black, outside the circle) and Ten Essential Services (inside the circle) of Public Health:










"What is Public Health" video from the University of Washington:

YouTube Video














More about Public Health:

Public Health