What is Public Health?
Public health connects us all. Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of families and communities through promotion of healthy lifestyles, research for disease and injury prevention, and detection and control of infectious diseases.
Public health is concerned with 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 work is population centered. Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or recurring through implementing educational programs, recommending policies, administering services and conducting research—in contrast to clinical professionals like doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured.
Public health is an exciting professional field of study. The Department of Public Health trains public health students to work in public-sector agencies and private-sector organizations whose actions are dedicated to optimizing the health and well-being of people and their communities. Students may select among various specialty disciplines: environmental/occupational health, epidemiology, health promotion and health science.
Common Public Health Actions
- Foster prevention-orientation
- Build collaborative community partnerships
- Monitor health to reduce risk
- Detect and investigate health problems
- Conduct research to enhance prevention
- Develop and advocate sound public health policies
- Implement prevention strategies
- Promote healthy behaviors
- Foster safe and healthful environments