Public health refers to the branch of medicine and healthcare that applies scientific principles to protect, promote and improve the health of people and communities through strategies such as education, policy-making, and healthcare research. Although public health is a branch of medicine, it is concerned with the promotion of health at the level of the population rather than the individual. The CDC recognizes three core public health functions: assessment, policy development, and assurance.
What are the three core functions of public health?
This function entails systematically collecting, analyzing, and disseminating health-related information regarding healthy communities. Two major essential public health services are grounded in this core function. Firstly, this core function is concerned with the monitoring of health (CDC, 2020). This involves the regular gathering of data on important aspects of health and its determinants (Schneider, 2016). The second core function is diagnosis and investigation, which refers to the efforts taken to evaluate and verify the health problems of public health significance (CDC, 2020). Several public health assessment services are conducted at various government levels.
This function involves promoting the utilization of scientific evidence and principles in making policies and decisions regarding the health of communities. The major essential services that are based on this core function include informing, educating, and empowering (CDC, 2020). This involves using health education and communication initiatives to expand the knowledge of people and their community to encourage conscious health decisions and behaviors (Schneider, 2016). The other essential service is the mobilization of community partnership, which includes efforts made to identify formal and informal health partners in the community and forge coalitions with them (Schneider, 2016). The third essential service is the development of policies (CDC, 2020). This is the actual process of formulating and implementing policies that support and guide the health efforts of people and their communities.
This core function is concerned with the efforts to ensure that services are provided to those needing them. Four essential public health services are grounded in this function. One such service is the enforcement of laws. This service deals with the actions that are taken to ensure that laws and regulations are geared towards protecting population health and safety (CDC, 2020). Such actions include education, advocacy, and actual lawmaking. The other essential service is to provide or link people to care (CDC, 2020). This service is concerned with identifying population groups with unmet health needs and connecting them with appropriate providers or providing the service in the event of unavailability (Schneider, 2016). Another essential service is ensuring that the personal and public healthcare workforce is competent through activities such as credentialing and professional development (CDC, 2020). Fourthly, the assurance function also includes evaluation (CDC, 2020). This service is concerned with the ongoing assessment of personal and public health services to determine the quality and stimulate quality improvement efforts.
The other essential public health service is research (CDC, 2020). It involves efforts to elucidate health problems by generating new evidence to encourage innovative and informed approaches to public health (Schneider, 2016). This universal service is grounded in all three core functions of public health.
Give two examples each of federal, state, and local agencies or departments that carry out these core functions and essential services.
Several agencies at different government levels are involved in the provision of essential public health services based on the three core functions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) carry out these services at the federal level. At the State level, such agencies include organizations like the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Illinois Public Health Institute. Finally, agencies at the local government level include organizations such as Advocate Health Care and the Community Health Partnership of Illinois.
CDC. (2020, April 18). Public Health 101 Series. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/publichealth101/e-learning/public-health/
Schneider, M. J. (2016). Introduction To Public Health. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
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HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS AND CORE FUNCTIONS
Before you begin this assignment, read through the Home page and the required readings. Specifically, view the E-learning course – Introduction to public health (slides 1 -33) at https://www.cdc.gov/publichealth101/e-learning/public-health/
For the Session Long Project (SLP), you will identify and discuss the Core Functions of Public Health. Your task for this first segment of the SLP is to address the following questions in a 2- to 3-page paper:
- What are the three core functions of public health?
- What are the essential services associated with each of these?
- Give two examples each of federal, state, and local agencies or departments that carry out these core functions and essential services.
Length: 2–3 pages, excluding the cover page and a reference list.
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