Public Health and Community Health Essay

The name Public health and community health are interchangeable. Community health nursing originally called public health nursing from 1900-1970 combines nursing science and public health science to form a community-based and population-focused practice. The overall goal is to improve the health of the communities and vulnerable populations. During the colonial era American cities were invaded with severe cases of small pox and yellow fever. By the 1790s vaccinations replaced the inoculation of the diseases; small pox and yellow fever were was no longer a serious public health concern.

The rapid urbanization of the nineteenth century caused serious public health problems. In particular, cities are vulnerable to diseases spread by contact and insect vectors, such as tuberculosis and typhus, and to other diseases transmitted by contaminated water supplies, such as typhoid fever. Throughout the period, the death rate for urban dwellers was considerably higher than for residents of rural areas (“History of Public Health in America”, 2012). Many new disease stuck American cities such as cholera. Cholera caused 6, 000 deaths in New Orleans and in many other cities.

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Many cities were ordered to clean up waste organic filth. These changes greatly improved public health. Water borne vectors that spread diseases such as typhoid, cholera, malaria, and typhus were eliminated or brought under control. During the late nineteen century public health was officials were focused on bacteriology and the germ theories of disease. More vaccines, serums, and bacteriological products were created. Not every disease could be attacked by eliminating insect vectors or by using biological products developed in laboratories.

These measures had only limited effectiveness in dealing with tuberculosis and infant mortality, which together accounted for about 30 percent of all deaths annually. To combat these urgent conditions, a new approach to public health would have to be adopted—one that emphasized educating the public about personal health care and organizing medical services to ensure the early diagnosis and treatment of disease (“History Of Public Health In America”, 2012). The Center of Disease Control An important national partner in public health today is the Center of Disease Control.

The Communicable Disease Center was organized in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 1, 1946; its founder, Dr. Joseph W. Mountin, was a visionary public health leader who had high hopes for this small and comparatively insignificant branch of the Public Health Service (PHS) (“Historical Perspectives History of Cdc “, 1996). CDC played a key role in one of the greatest triumphs of public health: the eradication of smallpox. In 1962 it established a smallpox surveillance unit, and a year later tested a newly developed jet gun and vaccine in the Pacific island nation of Tonga.

After refining vaccination techniques in Brazil, CDC began work in Central and West Africa in 1966. When millions of people there had been vaccinated, CDC used surveillance to speed the work along. The World Health Organization used this “eradication escalation” technique elsewhere with such success that global eradication of smallpox was achieved by 1977. The United States spent only $32 million on the project, about the cost of keeping smallpox at bay for 2-1/2 months (“Historical Perspectives History Of Cdc “, 1996).

CDC also achieved notable success at home tracking new and mysterious disease outbreaks. In the mid-1970s and early 1980s, it found the cause of Legionnaires disease and toxic-shock syndrome. A fatal disease, subsequently named acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), was first mentioned in the June 5, 1981, issue of MMWR. Since then, MMWR has published numerous follow-up articles about AIDS, and one of the largest portions of CDC’s budget and staff is assigned to address this disease (“Historical Perspectives History Of Cdc “, 1996).

The California Department of Public Health In the state of California, The California Department of Public health (CDPH) works in partnership with the CDC, and many community health programs. The CDPH report certain communicable disease outbreaks to the CDC, to determine the statistical risk to the public. The California Department of Public Health was established by Senate Bill 162 on July 1, 2007 within the existing Health and Human Services Agency.

The goals of the California Department of Public Health are to improve access to quality public health services, to improve health outcomes and to reduce health care costs through prevention with services such as disease screenings and vaccinations, and patient safety initiatives (“California Department of Public Health “, 2011) The CDPH work to identify community health problems including disparities. The department focuses on detecting and investigating health problems and health hazards in the community, informing, educating, and empowering people and organizations to adopt healthy behaviors.

Community Health Working alongside the California Department of Public Health is the county department of public health. For example the San Bernardino County Department of public health services focuses on the health and safety of a specific geographical area. Just as the California department of Health does, the county’s department of public health focuses on disease screening and prevention. The department informs, educates, and partners with the community to protect the health of the people.

Many of the department’s services include programs like, Women, Infant, and Children Program (WIC). Also there are drug and alcohol programs, housing programs, shot clinics, and children family services. Community Health vs. Public Health Community health departments included county and city health departments and services. The San Bernardino County Department of health is a community based program that focuses on the health of a specific community. Public health includes departments that are state or national focused, such as the CDC, and the California department of public health.

Overall community health programs and services work simultaneously with the larger public health departments to improve the overall health of America. Without the services and dedication of these organizations population can be struck with serve illness and devastation.


California Department of Public Health. (2011). Retrieved from http://www. healthfinder. gov/orgs/HR0307. htm Historical Perspectives History of CDC. (1996). Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00042732. htm History of Public Health in America. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. englisharticles. info/2011/04/06/history-of-publ