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Practicing Public Health, Coursework Example

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Coursework

Who is involved in practicing public health at the local level? What are their responsibilities? Most communities have a government-run local health department with specific duties that are mandated. To be effective, these departments must work in partnership with other organizations.

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has put together a definition that was put together with the participation of more than 600 governmental public health professionals and local and state officials representing 30 different states. The NACCHO definition describes the duties, responsibilities and vision of a local health department (Research Foundation, 2006).

The operational definition of functional health department defines what the populace in any community can realistically expect from their local governmental public health existence. It sets out a sequence of standards based on the Ten critical Public Health Services and serves as the skeleton for the standards of the national voluntary accreditation program operated by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).

Governmental public health departments are accountable for creating and maintaining an environment that promote and keep people healthy. Hence a health department has a mandate to involve itself with all the circumstances that have an effect on health, including social and economic conditions (Research Foundation, 2006). Public health professionals call these “the social determinants of health,” and they include inequalities, stress,  social exclusion, pyramids of status, sexism, low income, racism,  lack of control over one’s circumstances, job loss, run-down housing, social isolation and so forth. This said all LHDs [local health departments] need to develop partnerships with community-based organizations, public and private healthcare providers and institutions, non-governmental organizations, and other government agencies to be effective (National Association, 2005).

Briefly identify five community partners or stakeholders that you think are central (or should be) components of your selected county’s public health system. These must include nongovernmental entities

The Duval County Health Department (DCHD) today serves a population in Duval County of approximately 800,000 residents (National Association, 2005). The five community partners or stakeholders that I believe are central and/or should be components of DCHD are Florida’s disaster response agency otherwise known as the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), the National Mental Health Association, Every Woman Florida, text4baby and Tobacco Free Florida.

References:

Operational Definition of Functional Local Health Department retrieved from the Publication Manual of the National Association of County & City Health Officials. Publication date 11/01/2005.

Information regarding the Duval County Health Department (DCHD) retrieved from website: http://www.dchd.net/

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