Defining Public Health

What Is Public Health?

Public Health has been defined as the work a society does collectively to ensure the conditions for people to be healthy. Professionals in the field perform a wide range of public health services. They assist individuals by linking them with needed personal health services, particularly in areas where health care is otherwise unavailable. They also assist communities by monitoring health status and mobilizing community partnerships to identify and investigate community health problems and hazards. Many are educators, informing and empowering people about health issues. Others work on a broader level, developing policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts, and evaluating effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services. Lastly, public health professionals work to maintain the integrity of our community health efforts by enforcing laws and regulations that protect our health and safety, and by ensuring a competent public and personal healthcare workforce.

For more information on the field, visit the American Association of Schools & Programs in Public Health (ASPPH).