470 Center St., Building 8
Chardon, Ohio 44024
Monday-Friday: 8:00am-4:30pm
Hours subject to change

440-279-1900

What is Public Health?

“The science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals” C-.E.A. Winslow, 19201

“Public health is what we, as a society, do collectively to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy.” – Institute of Medicine, 19882

Medicine and public health

Medicine focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the individual.
Public Health focuses on the prevention of disease in the population using evidence-based practices, such as vaccination, sanitation,
and health promotion and education.

Medicine3
  • Focus on the individual.
  • Emphasis on diagnosis and treatment, care for the whole patient.
  • Biological sciences are central, stimulated by the need of patients.
  • Predominant intervention is medical care.
  • Personal service ethic, conditioned by an awareness of social responsibilities.
  • Uniform certification of specialists beyond professional medical degree.
Public Health3
  • Focus on the population.
  • Emphasis on prevention, health promotion for the whole community.
  • Biological sciences are central, stimulated by major threats to the health of populations.
  • Varied interventions targeting the environment, human behavior (lifestyle) and medical care.
  • Public service ethic, tempered by concerns for the individual.
  • Variable certification of specialists beyond professional public health degree.
What has public health done for me?

During the 20th century, the health and life expectancy of persons residing in the United States improved dramatically. Since 1900, the average lifespan
of persons has lengthened by greater than 30 years; 25 years of this gain are attributable to advances in public health.

Many notable public health achievements have occurred during the 1900s, and other accomplishments could have been selected for the list. The choices for
topics were based on the opportunity for prevention and the impact on death, illness, and disability and are not ranked by order of importance.4

References 1 & 3
1. C.-E. A. Winslow, (1920). The untilled fields of public health. Science, New Series, 51 (1306): 23-33. (Note: Charles-Edward Amory Winslow was chair of the Dept. of Public Health at Yale University)
3. Fineberg, H. (1990). Public health vs. medicine. The population approach to public health. Harvard University School of Public Health.
References 2 & 4
2. Institute of Medicine, Committee on the Future of Public Health. (1988). The future of public health. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
4. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. (1999). Morbidity and mortality weekly report. 48(12):241-243.

Top 10 Achievements in Public Health

Sewage Program

Vaccination

Sewage Program

Motor-vehicle safety

Sewage Program

Safer Workplace

Sewage Program

Control of infectious diseases

Sewage Program

Decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke

Sewage Program

Safer and healthier foods

Sewage Program

Healthier mothers and babies

Sewage Program

Family planning

Sewage Program

Fluoridation of drinking water

Sewage Program

Recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard

Read more about these achievement in the April 2, 1999 edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online.

community-education-mental-health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month