Public Health and Healthcare
"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.