The definition of public health has changed throughout the years. In addition, people define public health from their perspective. However, each definition includes a large number of approaches, concepts and sectors. According to Dr. Richard Riegelman, public health is “The totality of all evidence-based public and private efforts that maintain and improve health and prevent disease, disability, and death.” Public health considers a large canvas that represents social, economic and environmental elements while examining many issues. These issues comprise viewing how health-care delivery systems are formed; how they provide needed care. They also consist of policies; how they affect the public as a whole. The holistic view of public health in the 21st century considers the myriad factors that produce what is now called the population health approach.
This new approach embraces the traditional approach. On the other hand, it also reflects and acts on health-care systems, social issues, and home business opportunities. In the last decade people have become increasingly aware of threats to their physical and mental health due to environmental factors, terrorist threats, costs and availability of quality health care, and pandemics such as SARS, AIDS, and H1N1. It has become more apparent to not merely focus on individual care, but to also consider the overall population. Evidently, governments, health-care systems, communities, top MLM companies, and individuals need to focus on the population as a whole in order to protect, prevent, educate, promote, and provide quality health care.
Putting forward public health advances, practices, policies is an ongoing process. Present day approaches entail what is known as the evidence-based approach. First, problems are identified; the cause or etiology of a problem is determined followed by recommendations to eliminate or curtail the health concern; finally, implementation or intervention options are considered and administered. The preceding steps may appear as a simple formula; however it is an ongoing, recycling, complicated process.
Once more, there are many definitions for public health. Nonetheless, the overall consensus is that public health is instrumental in preventing disease and promoting quality health. It is also responsible for providing policies and research to professionals who use this information to educate the public, as well as reduce health care costs, provide accessibility to quality care facilities, and protect the public from harm. For instance, state, local, and city departments implement educational campaigns of the proper way to wash hands to deter the spread of viruses. They also inspect local restaurants to make sure they are within the guidelines of proper food handling, preparation, and storage. In addition, they ensure water is within safe drinking limits. In addition, agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) work with state and local governments and communities to provide safe public health and to protect citizens from hazardous materials.
There are so many aspects to public health that this article does not cover. Nevertheless, public health has changed throughout the years and will continue to transform as humans and our environments evolve. Natural and unnatural disasters threaten the well-being of people throughout the world; viruses and bacteria also pose dangers to the health of humans. Unfortunately, there are people in the world that involve themselves in terrorist activities extending additional unforeseen dangers to the lives and health of people throughout the world. Those dedicated individuals who practice and administer public health are the eyes, ears, minds, and bodies that search for, work at eliminating, and prevent these potential dangers to the health and livelihood of humans around the globe. In addition to these daunting tasks, they assist in educating the uneducated in order that we live better, healthier lives.