What is Public Health?
Public Health is a science focused on preventing disease, illness and injury before it begins as well as protecting and promoting health. Instead of working with one individual at a time, public health focuses on entire populations, such as local communities, cities, states, or the entire nation.
The health of the public is based on the complex interaction of individual and community factors as well as broad social, economic, cultural, and environmental determinants. Consequently, the public health workforce represents many different disciplines coming together to help others lead healthy lives. Nurses, physicians, environmentalists, sanitarians, dentists, nutritionists, health educators, laboratory scientists, epidemiologists, occupational and physical therapists, social workers, researchers, health administrators, policy-makers, behavioral scientists and others all contribute to a comprehensive public health workforce.
The health and well being of the people of Wisconsin depend on the strength of our public health infrastructure. This is especially true in highly populated urban centers such as Milwaukee. Essential elements of a public health infrastructure include a highly qualified workforce, research that examines root causes of public health problems, the identification fo strategies to improve overall health outcomes, adn the analysis and development of policies to protect the health of the public.
Planning for an Accredited School of Public Health at UWM (2006). Public Health Planning Team.