What is Public Health?

Connecting the dots in public health is a complex task.

The term public health is very often misunderstood. However, from the food you eat, to the air you breathe, from the doctors you visit, to the schools your children attend, public health is far reaching and very ingrained in your day-to-day life. In short, public health is a science revolving around protecting and improving the health of our communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and preventing injuries.

Public health professionals analyze the effect on health of genetics, personal choice and the environment in order to develop programs that protect the health of your family and community.

Public health focuses on three key areas:

  1. Providing disease control and prevention
  2. Assuring air and water quality
  3. Promoting healthy lifestyles

The Nevada Public Health Foundation believes public health is a wise investment and we are working towards a healthy future for Nevada communities and the people who live in them.

The 10 Essential Public Health Services

The 10 Essential Public Health Services describe the public health activities that all communities should undertake:

  1. Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems
  2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community
  3. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues
  4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems
  5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
  6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety
  7. Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable
  8. Assure competent public and personal health care workforce
  9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services
  10. Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problem

(CDC, 2018)