What is Public Health?

Public health consists of organized efforts to improve the health of communities. The operative components of this definition are that public health efforts are organized and directed to communities rather than to individuals. Public health practice does not rely on a specific body of knowledge and expertise; rather, a combination of science and social approaches used. The definition of public health reflects its central goal – the reduction of disease and the improvement of health in the community. Acknowledging that there are multiple determinants of health and embracing the vision for health improvement articulated the Healthy People initiative of the US Department of Health and Human Services (https://www.healthypeople.gov/), we see the practice of public health as including partnerships with the community, health and social services, industry and business, academia, and the media.