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What is Public Health?

Public health by definition refers to "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, communities and individuals.”

 

Huh???  So what does that mean??

  

Well….

Overall, public health is focused on protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country or region of the world.

Public health professionals work to prevent problems from happening or recurring by recommending policies, providing educational programs, and conducting research and data collection.  In contrast, although clinical professionals like doctors and nurses do include prevention measures in their services, they primarily focus on treating individuals, and usually after they become sick or injured.

Public health also works to help identify and break down health inequities.  Many of the causes of such inequities relate to social and environmental factors including income, social status, gender, education, as well as the physical environment, including housing.  This area of work is driven by the general concept that all people should have equal opportunity to achieve optimal health.