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Orientation to the Essentials of Public Health (Intermediate Level)

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Date Developed: 1/24/2006. Source: South Central Public Health Partnership. Presenter(s): Patrick Flaherty, MPP. Type: Video Course. Level: Intermediate. Length: 240 minutes.


This six-module course covers the basics of public health and includes pdf group activity exercises. Module 1 covers the history of public health in the United States and the current state of public health values, ethics and law. Module 2 discusses the concept, determinants and measurement of health status, with particular focus on the Healthy People objectives. Module 3 covers the three core functions and ten essential services of public health, also introducing the National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP). Module 4 compares public health functions at the local, state, and federal level, and discusses the role of collaborations/partnerships and community planning (specifically the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) model). Module 5 summarizes the core competencies of public health and describes the current public health workforce. Module 6 looks towards the future, discussing some future challenges and strategies for improving public health. Through the lecture, the presenters introduce activities and worksheets to assist the participant in learning important concepts and synthesize the new information.

Learning Objectives

Module 1: History, values, ethics and legal basis of public health

• Describe early movements that influenced public health and the key individuals.

• Describe the different eras of public health from 1800-2000.

• Describe successes/achievements in public health history.

• Identify the ethics and values that make public health a unique profession.

• Describe the legal basis for public health in America.

Module 2: How to define and how to measure health

• Identify different definitions of health - including physical, mental, and social well-being.

• Describe factors that influence health.

• List the ten leading causes of death and the actual causes of death.

• Describe health measurement activities such as Healthy People 2010.

Module 3: Framework of public health and how it has evolved over time

• Describe the difference between population-based public health and personal health services.

• Identify the three core functions and ten essential services in public health, and explain their historical development.

• Identify strategies to incorporate additional essential services into the participant's program area.

• Describe the National Public Health Performance Standards Program and its impact on public health practice.

Module 4: Basic steps of community health improvement processes

• Describe how the local, state, and federal levels of government impact health.

• Describe the importance of collaborations and coalitions, and the basic steps in coalition development.

• Describe the community planning model in public health - Mobilizing Action through Planning and Partnerships.

Module 5: The competencies needed by public health professionals to support systems that perform the essential services

• Identify the eight competency domains for public health workers.

• Understand the relationship between core competencies for public health workers and the essential services.

• Identify strategies to strengthen individual competencies.

Module 6: Future challenges in public health, identify trends, and see yourself as an agent of change

• Identify key questions professionals ask in creating a new future.

• Identify major challenges facing the public health system in their communities.

• Identify new or changed roles for their programs and for themselves based on this course.

Special Instructions

Registration to the South Central Public Health Partnership is required. For new users it will take one weekday to receive an access email. If you are registered in TRAIN, you should login using that username and password. Click on “Course Offerings” and search for “Orientation to Essentials of Public Health, Intermediate Level.”

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $225,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.