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Connecting Workshop 2003 What is Public Health? Presentation by: Dawn Gentsch, MPH, CHES.

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Presentation on theme: "Connecting Workshop 2003 What is Public Health? Presentation by: Dawn Gentsch, MPH, CHES."— Presentation transcript:

1 Connecting Workshop 2003 What is Public Health? Presentation by: Dawn Gentsch, MPH, CHES

2 What is Public Health? - Overview Public Health Definitions What does Public Health Do? History of Public Health Core Functions and Essential Services How does Public Health Work?

3 What is Health? The absence of Disease or Disability The “complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. (W.H.O.)

4 What does the term Public Health mean to you?

5 Public Health Public Health encompasses a population- focused, organized effort to assist individuals, groups, and communities in the reduction of health risks, and the maintenance or improvement of health status. –Healthy environment –Obtain needed health care services –Access to health promotion and disease prevention services WHO & IOM; ASPH June 2001

6 Selected Definitions of Public Health “ The science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health and efficiency through organized community action.” Winslow “Successive re-definings of the unacceptable.” Vickers “Fulfilling society’s interest in assuring conditions in which people can be healthy” IOM

7 The Paradigm of Public Health What we, as a society, do collectively to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy. Institute of Medicine The Future of Public Health

8 Public health affects all of us, all of the time.

9 What is Public Health? Governmental Services (Especially Medical Care for the Poor) The Methods (Knowledge and Techniques) The Profession The System and Social Enterprise The Health of the Public Bernard J. Turnock

10 What does Public Health do? The public health system exists to address: –the physical, –mental, –and environmental health concerns of comminutes and populations at risk for disease and injury

11 Public Health in America Vision: Healthy People in Healthy Communities Mission: Promote Physical and Mental Health and Prevent Disease, Injury and Disability  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 Public Health

12 The History of Public Health Prior to Epidemics: Avoidance and Acceptance Sanitary Reform through State and Local Infrastructure Gaps in Medical Care and Expanding Agenda After Community PH Practice and Bio-Terrorism

13 Ten Great Public Health Achievements Vaccines Recognition of Tobacco as a Hazard Motor Vehicle Safety Safer Workplaces Control of Infectious Disease Fewer deaths from heart disease and stroke Safer and healthier foods Healthy mothers and babies Family planning Fluoridation MMWR Vol 48, No 12

14 Public health practice is based on scientifically sound strategies for improving the quality of life and reducing morbidity and premature mortality. - How we do it -

15 Prevention is the primary obligation of public health. -- William Foege, MD, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

16 Distinctions Between PH and Medicine PUBLIC HEALTH Primary focus on population Public service ethic, tempered by concerns for the individual Emphasis on prevention, health promotion for the whole community Public health paradigm employs a spectrum of interventions aimed at the environment, human behavior and lifestyle, and medical care Multiple professional identities with diffuse public image Variable certification of specialists beyond professional public health degree MEDICINE Primary focus on individual Personal service ethic, conditioned by awareness of social responsibilities Emphasis on diagnosis and treatment, care for the whole patient Medical paradigm places predominant emphasis on medical care Well-established profession with sharp public image Uniform system for certifying specialists beyond professional medical degree Harvey Fineberg MD, PhD

17 Distinctions Between PH and Medicine Lines of specialization organized, for example, by: analytical method (epidemiology) setting and population (occupational health) substantive health problem (nutrition) skills in assessment, policy development, and assurance Biologic sciences central, stimulated by major threats to health of populations; move between laboratory and field Numeric sciences an essential feature of analysis and training Social sciences an integral part of public health education Clinical sciences peripheral to professional training Lines of specialization organized, for example, by: organ system (cardiology) patient group (pediatrics) etiology, pathophysiology (oncology, infectious disease) technical skill (radiology) Biologic sciences central, stimulated by needs of patients; move between laboratory and bedside Numeric sciences increasing in prominence, though still a relatively minor part of training Social sciences tend to be an elective part of medical education Clinical sciences an essential part of professional training PUBLIC HEALTH MEDICINE

18 The Evolving Agenda of Public Health Hygiene Infections Chronic Disease Determinants of Health

19 Three Core Functions of Public Health Assessment Policy Development Assurance This is the IOM Model as identified in 1988 that lead to the Essential Public Health Services.

20 Assessment The Process of Understanding –Population Health Status –Threats to Health –Community Health Resources Kristine Gebbe

21 Policy Development Reduce the threats to health Support positive resources Reduce disease Advance overall community health

22 Assurance The process of assuring: Availability Accessibility Quality


24 Public health agencies are a lot like fire departments. They teach and practice prevention at the same time they maintain readiness to take on emergencies. They are most successful—and least noticed—when their prevention measures work the best Public Health Improvement Plan, Washington State Department of Health

25 Public Health in America Vision: Healthy People in Healthy Communities Essential Public Health Services è Monitor health status è Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards è Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues è Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems è Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts è Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety è Link people to needed personal health services è Assure a competent public health and personal health care workforce è Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services è Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems

26 A public health system includes: All public, private, and voluntary entities that contribute to the delivery of public health services within a jurisdiction. A public health system is: A network of entities with differing roles, relationships, and interactions. All entities contribute to the health and well-being of the community. Public Health System CDC, 2001

27 Public Health Infrastructure “The backbone of the public health system” Resources and relationships necessary to carry out the core functions and essential services of public health Resources: –Human: continuing education, leadership development, certificate programs –Informational: online data, integrate informational systems, research –Organizational: expanded partnerships, statutes, core functions funding, statewide umbrella –Financial: to finance all of the above

28 MCOs Home Health Parks Economic Development Mass Transit Employers Nursing Homes Mental Health Drug Treatment Civic Groups CHCs Laboratory Facilities Hospitals EMS Community Centers Doctors Health Department A Public Health System Is Complex Churches Philanthropist Elected Officials Tribal Health Schools Police Fire Jails Environmental Health

29 Public health efforts have increased the average life span by nearly 30 years during the past century.

30 Behavioral and environmental risk factors – smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, increased pollution, stress and unsafe sexual practices – have replaced infectious disease as the leading causes of premature death.

31 How Does Public Health Work? Public health address health concerns through the application of: –Health promotion and disease prevention technologies and interventions designed to improve and enhance quality of life *These methods encompass a broad range of activities, but are all grouped under 3 main core public health functions.

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