Microsoft Word Health care is vital to all of us spublic health is vital to all of us all of the time.doc

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1 “Health care is vital to all of us some of the time but public health is vital to all of us all of the time." ~C. Everett Koop, MD, former U.S. Surgeon General What is public health? Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized e fforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals." (1920, C.E.A. Winslow) It is concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on on in question can be as small as a population health analysis. The populati handful of people or as large as all th e inhabitants of several continents (for instance, in the case of a pandemic). There are 2 distinct characteristics of public health: 1. It deals with preventive rather than curative aspects of health. 2. It deals with population-level, rather than individual-level health issues What is the difference between public health and private healthcare? Private Healthcare vs. Public Health Focus on individual Focus on population Emphasis on prevention, health Emphasis on diagnosis and promotion for the whole treatment, care for the whole community patient Biological sciences central, Biological sciences central, stimulated by major threats to stimulated by need of health of populations patients

2 Varied interventions targeting the Predominant intervention is environment, human medical care behavior/lifestyle and medical care Personal service ethic, Public service ethic, tempered by concerns for the individual conditioned by awareness of social responsibilities (Fineberg, 1990) approach to health . Here are some Public health uses a population-based examples of how this approach works:  Prevents pollution of our air and land through enforcement of regulatory controls and management of hazardous wastes;  Ensures that our drinking and recreational waters are safe;  Eradicates life-threatening diseases such as smallpox and polio;  Controls and prevents infectious diseases and outbreaks such as measles, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and the Ebola virus;  Reduces death and disability due to unintentional injuries through the formulation of policies designed to protect the safety of the public, such as seat belt and worker safety laws; improve mental health, reduce  Facilitates community empowerment to substance abuse, and social violence; Promotes healthy lifestyles to prevent chronic diseases such as cancer,  heart disease, and obesity;  Educates populations at risk to reduce sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy, and infant mortality;  Ensures access to cost-effective care; and  Evaluates the effectiveness of clinical and community-based interventions. (Association of Schools of Public Health, 2001) What are the essential public health services?  Monitoring health status to identify community health problems;  Diagnosing and investigating health problems and health hazards in the community;  Informing, educating, and empowering people about health issues;

3  to identify and solve health Mobilizing community partnerships problems;  Developing policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts;  Enforcing laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety;  Linking people to needed personal health services and assuring the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable;  Ensuring a competent public health and personal health care work force;  Evaluating effectiveness, accessibilit y, and quality of personal and population-based health services; and  Researching for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems. (Public Health Functions Steering Committee, 1994)

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