"Every Where, Every Day, Every Body"
The Three Core Functions of Public Health: The Job of the Local Board of Health
In 1988, the Institute of Medicine’s issues The Future of Public Health report which stated that America’s public health system was in disarray. The Institute’s panel recommended new governmental functions at federal, state and local levels to strengthen our nation’s public health system. Localities, they said, should reestablish boards of health or “public health councils” to assess public health needs, develop public health policy, and assure that public health services are available. It is these three core functions – assess, address, and assure – that constitute the job of the local board of health.
To scan, weigh and balance community needs, resources, statistics and politics
To determine a course of action; to set targets, to allocate resources, to make policy and assign responsibility
To make certain that progress is made
Adapted from Assess, Address, Assure: Manual for North Carolina’s Local Health Boards. Copyright 1993 – Association of North Carolina Boards of Health.
The Eleven Essential Public Health Services
The Eleven Essential Public Health Services provide the fundamental framework for the National Public Health Performance Standards Program instruments. They describe a list of activities associated with the core functions and responsibilities of local public health agencies: assessment, policy development, and assurance.
- 1. Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
- 2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
Address (Policy Development)
- 3. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
- 4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
- 5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
- 6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
- 7. Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
- 8. Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
- 9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
- 10. Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.
- 11. Emergency Preparedness.
1. Website of Department of Health and Human Services – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov/od/ocphp/nphpsp/EssentialPHServices.htm
2. National Association of Local Boards of Health: Being an Effective Local Board of Health Member