Public Health and Healthcare (C-2)


Public Health and Healthcare (C-2)


"We all have an obligation as citizens of this earth to leave the world a healthier, cleaner, and better place for our children and future generations."

-Blythe Danner, American Actress
Public health focuses on protecting and improving the human condition, and prolonging life.  It necessitates public investment in education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention, among others. Public health agencies at both state and local levels are central to effective public health and health care systems. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such systems involve “all public, private, and voluntary entities that contribute to the delivery of essential public health services within a jurisdiction.”

Elected officials and law enforcement officers play an important role in the development and regulation of public health and healthcare policy. A number of public health professionals, strive every day delivering services to protect the health of our families and communities, whether working in hospitals, nursing homes, emergency management services, schools or mental health facilities. Volunteers from charitable and philanthropic organizations also contribute a lot to ensure that public health and health care goals are met in places where resource constraints might present impediments. CDC also places emphasis on the important role of youth development organizations, recreation and arts-related organizations in supporting public health.

CDC has formulated a set of 10 essential public health and health care services that provide the framework for determining how well a jurisdiction is doing at assessing the performance of its system. Broadly these fit under policy development, assurance, and assessment. They include monitoring the public’s health status, investigating and diagnosing health problems, public awareness, enforcing laws and regulations that support public health and health care efforts, assuring a competent workforce, and continuous research and innovation to keep abreast of health problems.

In the additional resources section to the right is a collection of related public service narratives "Ask me why I care,"under "Tell your story." They were curated by the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Public Affairs and Community Service in a Public Service Stories Project. Project Co-Directors are Dr. Mary Hamilton and Ms. Rita Paskowitz. The collection includes videos and Suggested Assignments for Students.

Collection Items

Government Reporting Chain: NARMS
The federal government established the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for Enteric Bacteria (NARMS) in 1996 as a national public health surveillance system.
It tracks antibiotic resistance among bacteria from three sources:…

NASA Safety/Health Reporting Sequence
Everyone at NASA is responsible for using established procedures to report suspected safety or health hazards to appropriate officials. No employee shall be subject to restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal for filing a report…

Polio Campaign, 1963
In 1961, oral polio vaccine (OPV) was invented by Dr Albert Sabin and introduced in the US. Sabin’s strategy was to give trivalent OPV to all children under five (two doses spaced 4-6 weeks apart). From 1963, the US was using OPV in mass polio…

American Heart Association
The American Heart Association (AHA) is a non-profit organization in the United States that fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. It is headquartered in Dallas,…

Mississippi Midwives: A Glimpse of Health Care History in the Segregated Community
These three photos were taken during the summer of 1929 in Indianola and Ruleville, Mississippi. The photos are part of a research project focusing on the role played by African-American midwives in providing pre-natal, obstetrical, post-natal, and…

Juke Joint Sniper
In this 1942 poster by Ferree, a striking blonde woman lights up a cigarette in front of a bar. The woman has blond hair and wears a short-sleeved steel blue dress, pink bracelet, and blue ring. She has a dark red purse tucked between her arm and…

W.W. Godding, Superintendent of St. Elizabeth's Hospital
Today, research on alcohol/drug abuse and mental health is conducted under the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). However, government involvement with mental health issues…

Wellbee Poster
In this poster, Wellbee cheerfully reminds the viewer to “be well” and “be clean” by washing his or her hands regularly, suggesting a clear connection between cleanliness and health. WellBee was a loveable product of the Center for Disease Control,…

Trailer Clinic
Dr. L.E. Burney and Nurse Fran Miller, members of the Public Health Service staff traveled with the trailer which was built for use in a syphilis project in Georgia.

U.S. Public Health Service used trailer clinic in war against syphilis in…
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