How Public Health Serves You
The fundamental obligation of agencies responsible for population based health is to:
- Prevent epidemics and the spread of disease
- Protect against environmental hazards
- Prevent injuries
- Promote and encourage healthy behaviors and mental health
- Respond to public health disasters and assist communities in recovery
- Assure the quality and accessibility of health services
Both distinct from and encompassing clinical services, public health’s role is to assure the conditions necessary for people to live healthy lives, through community wide prevention and protection programs.
Public health serves communities and individuals by providing an array of essential services. Many of these services are invisible to the public. Typically, the public only becomes aware of the need for public health services when a problem develops. The practice of public health includes the Core Functions and 10 Essential Services.