Public Health Recourses At The County, State And National Levels

Posted: September 3rd, 2013

Public Health Recourses At The County, State And National Levels










Public Health Recourses At The County, State And National Levels

            Public health has evolved over the years since its development thousands of years ago. During this time the program began with the establishment of a formal system of human waste and sanitation. History indicates that the authorities supplied ancient city of Rome with clean water through the famous aqueducts. Advance in the realm of public health has brought significant benefits, such as the ability to control disease epidemics such as cholera and small pox. Nowadays, the average life span of an individual has increased greatly because of the significant contributions made by public health. The sector’s supply of cleaner water facilitates this by ensuring of safer food, and minimized injuries (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2012).

The federal government is liable for the accountability of the physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing of its populace. To achieve the above goals, the government has set up a cabinet department known as the, The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), mandated with the task of protecting the health of the American population and ensuring easy access to essential human services (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2012).

The dictum focuses on enhancing the well-being, security, and vigor of the nation. The history of this cabinet department dates back to 1798 when the government enacted an act the provided for the relief of the incapacitated and unhealthy seamen. This act established a federal network of health care centers that initially provided health facilities for the sick and disabled merchant seamen. Initially, the department worked together with the department of education forming the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare before the separation of the two.

In 1922, president, Harding, proposed the establishment of a welfare and education department. However, these proposals was not implemented during his tenure but was established 30 years after his departure. The proposed department established itself in 1950 when the president upheld the power to create and reorganize new departments. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare changed its name to The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 1979. During this time, the education functions of this department relocated to the United States Department of Education.

The state of Ohio has witnessed significant changes in its department of public health. Public health in this state dates back to the year 1886, during which time the serving was established. This department upheld the responsibility of ensuring the physical well-being of the Ohio populace. During this time, the department main focus was to coordinate the fight against the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB). The board changed to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) in the year 1917. The latter mainly focused on the controlling the spread of infectious diseases (Ohio Department of Health, 2012).

The first laboratory in Ohio was set up in the year 1898 and worked as a Chemical and Bacteriological Laboratory. This laboratory was at the time the fourth to be built in the entire nation. The state authorities established the laboratory’s division in the year 1912 and in the year 1914, it the lab relocated to The Ohio State University. This followed its relocation in the year 2006 to on the campus of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The laboratory shares this premises with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The division works closely with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to facilitate provision of important health information.

The state charged the department with added responsibilities in line with the advance in public health in the 21st century. The department currently plays the role of initiating the first response and initiate preventive measures against act of bioterrorism. The department serves the mission of protecting and enhancing the health of the citizens of Ohio. It mainly accomplishes this fete by conducting education campaigns among its public on the current healthy behaviors and evaluates present data and comes up with the relevant corrective measures against unhealthy conditions in the workplaces and residential areas in the promotion and provision of access to quality care.

The Cuyahoga County District Board of Health serves the health needs of the greater Cleveland community. This is the community that mainly resided beyond the Cleveland city limits. The board dates back to 1920, when the authorities realized the health issues of those living in the suburbs and townships. This led to the appointment of a full-time county health commissioner, although his responsibilities were mainly at the state level. Community health in the region continued to develop and by 1955, the County Board of Health could serve additional 34 cities and 22 villages and townships that previously did not have access to health services within the county (Cuyahoga County Board of Health, 2012).

Although public and community health are closely related in their areas of expertise, their lies significant differences between the two healthcare departments, the first difference is in terms of scope whereby the public health is mainly focused with the health of the nation in general whereas community health focuses on the provision of doctors and healthcare professionals within a given community. Second, public health serves to protect the health of every citizen of a given nation regardless of the location whereas community health serves to protect the health of people who reside within a particular community (Thomas, Ciliska, Dobbins, & Micucci, 2004).

Third, public health aims at the provision of free healthcare services to the citizens of a given nation whereas community health endeavors in the provision of safe and healthy environment, food, and healthy water supply. Public health is also concerned with the health of particular individuals whereas community health looks into the general health of a given community (Kulig, 2000).

Public health nursing plays the role of enhancing and protecting the health of the citizens of the nation. To accomplish this, the health professionals utilize the nursing knowledge together with social and public health sciences. Public heath nurses facilitate the incorporation of community involvement and knowledge concerning the whole population. The nurses integrate this with the personal and clinical appreciation of the health and sickness history of the people and families within a given population.

The public health nurse serves to interpret and express the health and sickness history of various individuals and families who reside within a given community. The nurses relay this information to the concerned health planners and policy makers in the development of future healthcare dimensions. The nurses also play the role of enabling the members of the community to voice complains and aspirations in the state and national level. The role of the community health nurse is similar to that of the public health nurse only that the community health nurse is restricted to perform her functions within a given community whereas the public health nurse has no jurisdictions within the nation (Keller Strohschein, Lia-Hoagberg, & Schaffer, 1998).



Cuyahoga County Board of Health. (2012). Retrieved from

Keller, L. O., Strohschein, S., Lia-Hoagberg, B., & Schaffer, M. (January 01, 1998). Population-based public health nursing interventions: a model from practice. Public Health Nursing (Boston, Mass.), 15, 3, 207-15.

Kulig, J. C. (January 01, 2000). Community Resiliency: The Potential for Community Health Nursing Theory Development. Public Health Nursing, 17, 5, 374-385.

Ohio Department of Health. (2012). Retrieved from

Thomas, B. H., Ciliska, D., Dobbins, M., & Micucci, S. (September 01, 2004). Original Article: A Process for Systematically Reviewing the Literature: Providing the Research Evidence for Public Health Nursing Interventions. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 1, 3, 176-184.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2012). Retrieved from


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