Public Health What Sets Us Apart has a Specialty in the Healthcare Field?
Over the course of the next year I will be providing you with a program focused article featuring each of our programs. I hope this will help us by providing an overview of value of each program and the impact that it has on our community. We will start with an overview of the value that Public Health brings to the Healthcare of our community and where it all started.
In the Beginning: Where Public Health Started: Part 1 of a continuing story.
This article was written in response to why funding should be stabilized for Public Health to ensure a healthy future for our country as a whole and for the health of our individual communities.
Public health has been around since the earliest civilizations recognized that polluted water and lack of proper waste disposal spread communicable disease. (Communicable Disease and Environmental Health). Our founding fathers recognized very earliest that providing health care to our merchant Marines was critical to the success and wellbeing of the new country, and on July 16, 1789, John Adams signed into law the “Act for the Relief of the Sick and Disabled Seamen” and established what the Public Health Service became. By 1878 the sole purpose as a relief organization for sick seamen was surpassed by the need to control epidemic disease through quarantine and disinfections measures, as well as immunization programs. By the 19th Century communicable diseases such as Typhoid, Choler and Yellow Fever were plaguing many communities. Public Health controlled these outbreaks through the use of organized quarantine programs, vector control, immunization programs, and other public health programs driven by scientific theories and research.
In 1873 a State Board of Health was established in Michigan. In 1963, the constitution of Michigan included language that declared the following “ the public health and general welfare of the people of the state are hereby declared to be matters of primary public concern”. The Public health Law of 1978 Act 368 is considered one of the most comprehensive in the nation and has been used as an example of jurisprudence through the country.
Public Health is more than just a government entity. It is 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.” (1920, C.E.A Winslow). Our modern public health practice involves a multidisciplinary team approach of professional that include physicians who specialize in public health and infectious disease, biostatistician, epidemiologists, public health nurses, microbiologists, environmental sanitarians, dental professionals, dietitians and nutritionists, community development workers, communication officers and the list goes on. *In the next update we will continue this discussion and explore the Core Public Health Functions.