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What is Public Health?
Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of families and communities through promotion of healthy lifestyles, disease and injury prevention, and the detection and control of infectious diseases.

Public health helps improve the health and well being of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country. It is the science and art of promoting health by understanding the processes of health including: social, mental, spiritual and physical well-being. Public health professionals strive to improve the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention.

The Impact of Public Health

The dramatic achievements of public health in the 20th century have improved our quality of life: an increase in life expectancy, world wide reduction in infant and child mortality, and the elimination or reduction of many communicable diseases.

The impact of public health has impacted our lives tremendously, by increasing life-expectancy, eliminating diseases that once took millions of lives, preventing injuries, preparing for natural disasters, and setting policies that continually improve the way we live.

Advances in public health have greatly enhanced the way we live. Below is a list of the top ten public health achievements in the last 100 years:

  • Vaccinations
  • Motor vehicle safety
  • Work place safety
  • Control of infectious diseases
  • Advances in medicine particularly
  • concerning heart attacks and strokes
  • Healthier and safer foods
  • Healthier mothers and babies
  • Family planning
  • Fluoridation of drinking water
  • Recognition of tobacco as a health hazard

Public Health Workers

Public health workers strive to prevent and control conditions that have the potential to harm individuals and particular population groups. Public health covers a broad scope of issues, such as the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink, workplace and public safety, prevention and response to disease, nutrition, and the management of public programs that provide care for people whose health has been impacted by disease or disability.
    Public health professionals work in many settings to guarantee:
  • Optimal human growth, development, and dignity across the life-span
  • Respect for community participation and preferences in health
  • Air, food, and water safety
  • Workplace, school and recreation site safety
  • Timely detection of disease outbreaks and public health threats
  • Science-based responses to public health problems
  • Health care access, efficiency, and effectiveness
  • Encouragement of healthy choices that prolong a high quality life
  • Design and maintenance of policies and services to meet community and individual needs for physical and mental health.