Essentials Services in Action in Public Health

Essentials Services in Action in Public Health


Prepare for this Discussion by reviewing the list of Essential Services in Table 2-1 (pages 43–48) and identify three roles within public health that meet any these essentials. These roles should be examples of actual jobs you know about (or find through a search) either in your community or at the state or federal level.

What are three roles within public health that fulfill any of the essential services of public health? In what specific ways are the individuals working in those roles fulfilling the essential services?

Identify an essential service, or at least some aspect of it, that public health might find challenging to fulfill adequately and explain why you think this is so.
Course Text: Novick, L. F., Morrow, C. B., & Mays, G. P. (2008). Public health administration (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Excerpt from Chapter 1, "Defining Public Health: Historical and Contemporary Developments" (pages 14–3 2)

This section of Chapter 1 discusses the scope of public health practice in the early 21st century. It reviews key concepts of socioeconomic and other factors of health and the importance of population-based prevention strategies in addressing today’s public health needs.

Chapter 2, "A Framework for Public Health Administration and Practice"

As this country faces a critical need for healthcare reform, it is more important than ever that public health professionals keep in mind the essential services that public health must provide. Chapter 2 examines this taxomony of services. It also describes the public health infrastructure—that is, the basic support for the delivery of public health activities—and explains why governmental agencies are moving in the direction of assurance and away from delivery of personal services.

Chapter 10, "Leadership for Public Health"

This chapter discusses several leadership theories and applications in public health, including systems thinking. Although you will have a course later in the program focusing on leadership, it is important to distinguish at this point the differences between management and leadership, and also to gain an appreciation of the public health system from a leader’s perspective. This chapter will help you better understand these topics.

Article: Shroeder, S. A. (2007). We can do better—improving the health of the American people. New England Journal of Medicine,
357(12), 1221–1228. Retrieved from
(Prior Knowledge)
Public health can shape policies and provide services that impact the health of the millions because of the many organizations, both large and small, that form the backbone of the public health system. Bring to mind what you have learned about the complex system of health departments, national organizations, community stakeholders, and other entities that comprise public health in this country. What organizational and system-wide challenges have public health practitioners struggled with over the years? What innovative models and programs have you heard about that are helping to streamline the public health operations and overcome historical obstacles?

Essential Services: 1.Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
2.Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
3.Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
4.Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
5.Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
6.Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
7.Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
8.Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
9.Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
10.Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.


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