MINORITY LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
Public Health 101
Carmi Washington Flood
February 27, 2012
What is Public Health?
 “The science and art of preventing disease,
prolonging life and promoting health and efficiency
through organized community effort… which will
ensure to every individual in the community a
standard of living adequate for the maintenance of
health.” Winslow, 1923
 public health n. The science and practice of protecting
and improving the health of a community, as by
preventative medicine, health education, control of
communicable diseases, application of sanitary
measures, and monitoring of environmental hazards.
(The American Heritage Dictionary)
Public Health Approach
Surveillance:
What
is the
problem?
Problem
Risk Factor
Identification:
What is the
cause?
Intervention
Evaluation:
What
works?
Implementation:
How do you
do it?
Response
What is Public Health?
 Mission of public health: Fulfilling society’s interest in
assuring conditions in which people can be healthy.
 Public health is addressed by public and private
organizations. Governmental public health agencies
have unique roles for assessment, policy development
and assurance.
From: The Future of Public Health, Institute of Medicine, 1988.
Where Does the Authority for Public
Health Come From?
 Public health powers were carried out by states
before the US government was formed.
 The Constitution delegated certain powers to the
federal government. The rest were reserved for the
states.
 States’ authority for regulation to protect public
health and to provide services is based on the
“police power” (relates to protecting health and
safety). States delegate power to cities and
counties.
Where Does the Authority for Public
Health Come From? (cont’d)
 Federal powers stem primarily from the Constitution’s
“commerce clause” (gives the federal government
power to regulate trade between states and with
other counties) and the ability to tax and spend
money.
 Federal grant and reimbursement program
requirements extend federal agencies’ influence. They
often place requirements on states and localities that
accept the funds (funding comes with “strings
attached”).
What Are the Overarching Roles of
Governmental Public Health Agencies?
 Assessment: Collection, analysis, publication of data
on health of the community (e.g., epidemiologic data,
health statistics, needs assessments).
 Policy Development: Leading/participating in policy
development. Policy role can include development of
laws and regulations.
 Assurance: Make sure quality services necessary to
achieve goals are provided.
From: The Future of Public Health, Institute of Medicine, 1988.
What Does Public Health DO?
Public Health





Prevents epidemics and the spread of disease
Protects against environmental hazards
Prevents injuries
Promotes and encourages healthy behaviors
Responds to disasters and assists communities in
recovery
 Assures the quality and accessibility of health services
Essential Services of Public Health
 Monitor health status
 Diagnose and
investigate
 Inform, educate, and
empower
 Mobilize community
partnerships
 Develop policies and
plans
 Enforce laws and
regulations
 Link people to
needed services /
assure care
 Assure a competent
workforce
 Evaluate health
services
 Research
The Essential Public Health Services
(EPHS) “translated”
 Understand health issues at the state and
community levels (Or “what’s going on in our
state/community? Do we know how healthy we
are?”)
 Identify and respond to health problems or
threats (Or “Are we ready to respond to health
problems or threats? How quickly do we find out
about problems? How effective is our response?”)
 Keep people informed about health issues and
healthy choices. (Or “How well do we keep all
people and segments of our State informed about
health issues?”)
The EPHS “translated” (cont’d)
 Engage people and organizations in health issues.
(Or “How well do we really get people and
organizations engaged in health issues?”)
 Plan and implement sound health policies. (Or
“What policies promote health in our State? How
effective are we in planning and in setting health
policies?”)
 Enforce public health laws and regulations. (Or
“When we enforce health regulations are we upto-date, technically competent, fair and
effective?”)
The EPHS “translated” (cont’d)
 Make sure people receive the medical care they
need.
 Maintain a competent public health and medical
workforce. (Or “How can we be sure that our staff
stays current?”)
 Evaluate and improve programs. (Or “Are we
doing any good? Are we doing things right? Are
we doing the right things?”)
 Support innovation and identify and use best
practices. (Or “Are we discovering and using new
ways to get the job done?”)
MARYLAND
INFECTIOUS DISEASE AND
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
ADMINISTRATION
http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov
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MLP In-Person Meeting Presentation: Public Health 101