Essay on Core Functions of Public Health

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Essay on Core Functions of Public Health

The Future of Public Health

In 1988, the Institute of Medicine made a report (IOM, 1988) on “The Future of Public Health” which basically changed the way public health was planned in the USA. The committee that was set up recommended in that report that health agencies at the state levels should intensify their managerial capabilities in three essential functional areas which are assessment, policy development and assurance. The rise in attention to managerial competence has gone with the rise in interest in tracking, quantifying and improving the assessment of health impact of government agencies in the USA in other countries that are developed and all over the world (Sim, and Mackie, 2003).

In the United States of America, the effort got to a serious level when the “Healthy people 2000” was published and is growing continuously. Considerable progress has been achieved in relating specific goals for the improvement of the health of the population like the rate of screening for cancer and immunization to specific managerial activities like the development of human resources through programs like the Turning Point Performance Management Collaborative (Public Health Foundation, 2002).

On the other hand, these programs don’t deal with some holistic questions on public health (Kemm, 2000) like is it obligatory to be competent in all three functions, or is being proficient in one or two enough to attain improvement in health status that is above-average?

Institute of Medicine’s National Programs for Children

The Institute of Medicine conducts two national programs for children. This is geared towards the improvement of the building blocks of the children. The programs are School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). These programs play an important part in assisting the health and nutrition of school students in the United States by offering low-cost or free lunches that are balanced nutritionally each school day.

In 2008, the School Breakfast Program (SBP) gave breakfast to 10.5 million children while over 30.5 million children received lunch from the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). At present, to get compensation from the federal, school meals must meet the 1995 established regulations for standards of nutrition and requirements for meals. In the years, developments have been made in dietary guidance since those guidelines were set up.

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The way in which requirements for meals are monitored and implemented will ascertain whether students take part in SBP and NSLP and eat the food that is given to them. Vital strategies of implementation to promote modification and increase the participation of students in the program include involving the school as an entity, involving parents, students, and the public; educating the students on nutrition; and providing practical assistance.

The involvement of the industry will be relevant to the process of implementation which includes introducing attractive foods that are low in saturated fat and sodium and those that have a higher ratio of whole grain to refined grain. Additionally, current methods for monitoring will guide the efforts of implementation.

The support recommended from the services of food and nutrition includes; Practical support for continuously developing and improving menus, placing orders for suitable foods and controlling the cost of these foods while upholding their quality. New methods for supervising the quality of meals in the school that lay emphasis on meeting important regulations for diet.

Impact of Activities of Public Health on the Quality and Length of Life

Activities of public health have considerably improved the quality and length of life all over the world (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 1999). In certain, the decreased incidence and occurrence of infectious disease has been a major achievement of public health. On the other hand, the progress of the future will be more problematic to achieve and assessing the public agencies’ health impact will be more difficult. As stated by Jocelyn Elders, the former surgeon General of the United States, ‘public health is poorly understood-perhaps because when it is effective, nothing happens'(Elders, 1995).

As there is a variation in the interventions and health impacts, the ability to identify the activities of a health agency that is directly contributing its quota to the progress is hard to ascertain and is always dependent on the debate (Coyne and Hilsenrath, 2002). A set of three important functions as stated above has been developed by the Federal Government’s Institute of Medicine in the USA.

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Not many studies have made attempt to measure the condition of public health practice in the USA as it is linked to the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine (IOM, 1988) regarding all three important functions. Out of eight studies that were initially conducted, four laid emphasis on the department of local health (Handler and Turnock, 1996; Scutchfield et al., 1997) and the other four took an approach on the state level (Halverson et al., 1996). Scott et al., 1990 were the first team to carry out a complete census based on the important functions of public health indicated by the Institute of Medicine.

Seven years later, Scutchfield et al., (1997) repeated the survey done by Scott et al., (1990) and found that the number of agencies involved in assurance and assessment activities was in general, unchanged. On the other hand, the percentage of health agencies at the state level that is enthusiastically involved in policy development dropped from 72% to 49% within the same period. For policy development, as it relates to particular issues, such as genetics and the prevention of disease (Piper et al., 2001), states displayed even decreased levels of activity.

This means that in just about half of the states, the functions of formal policy development were absent even on the basis of self-report. In the research on management, approaches based on configuration are used to look at the relationship between performance, the structure of the organization and decision making, and the strategic planning capabilities of organizations.

Additionally, a positive connection between financial performance and systems configuration of strategic planning has been confirmed to exist objectively (Veliyath and Shortell, 1993). On the other hand, no research to date has made an attempt to distinguish configurations on non-monetary measures of success such as the outcomes of healthcare.

Core Functions Of Public Health | Kent State OnlineThe extremely essential feature of any configuration is defining the planned purpose of the organizations that are analyzed. From the perspective of public health, it is essential to assess the effects of the important functions on the measures of population health status. Consequently, analytically linking the planning models of agency to the assessment of public health impact is a natural addition to the methodology of configuration.

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10 Principle Health Indicators

The department of health and human services in the US has recognized 10 leading health pointers and suggested that they should be used as measures of the outcome because they “help everyone understand the importance of health promotion and disease prevention. Developing strategies and action plans to address one or more of these indicators can have a profound effect on increasing the quality of life and eliminating health disparities” (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2000). The principal health indicators are:

  • Physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Use of tobacco
  • Abuse of substance
  • Sexual behavior
  • Mental health
  • Violence and injury
  • Quality of the environment
  • Immunization and
  • Access to health care

Other researchers and organizations (Sutocky et al., 2000) have set up a directory of the health status of the community using similar measures for example, since 1989, the group called UnitedHealth has formed yearly reports that rank the general state of health in all 50 states. The report gives a detailed view of the health trends of the population across the US. The marks are made to pull attention to vital measures that affect the health of the public.

The 10 Essential Public Health Services An Overview - Ppt DownloadAdditionally, arranging the items into a single variable permits an all-inclusive comparison of general health progress with the important functions. Consequently, pinpointing relationships between the configuration of important functions and the improvement of the health of the population is a relevant addition to both research in public health and management.

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