Public Health and Health Care
The primary mandate of public health is the prevention of diseases or injuries through the protection and promotion of public health; whereas, health care is premised the health of individuals. Public health entails prolonging life, promoting health, and prevention of diseases through organized community activities (Davis, Flores, & Culross, 2007). Public health systematically identifies the health factors in a community and subsequently organizes adequate health services for the defined community. As such, various interdisciplinary factors of health services such as epidemiology and biostatistics among others are integral aspects of public health.
In light of these, it is critical that the ways in which a public health organization, in this case the Center for Disease Control (CDC), impacts the health care providers and organizations; this will entail the evaluation of the roles of agency workers including their competencies, skills, and responsibilities.
CDC’s Impact on Main Functions of Public Health
CDC is also the primary operational component of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The CDC has implemented various programs with the aim of preventing and controlling defined diseases, epidemics, disability risks, and injuries through program development, dissemination activities, and epidemiologic surveillance and investigation (Frieden, 2010). CDC focuses on the protection of public health through scientific strategies and excellence; as such, its core values include integrity, accountability, and respect for human life. CDC has partnered with various local, state, and national agencies in order to improve public health by focusing on:
- improvement of Public health globally;
- reformation of health policies;
- reinforcement of public health surveillance and epidemiology;
- expansion of support to local and state health agencies and departments;
- mitigating leading causes of death.
The Center for Disease Control facilitates the provision of reliable and credible health information to the public with regard to workplace health and safety, life stages and population health, violence, injury and safety; healthy living, emergencies and disasters, environmental health, diseases and epidemics, statistics and data on various aspects of public health. CDC’s mission is to develop and set up information, tools and expertize the public needs for the protection of their health through prevention of disability, disease or injury and readiness for the current health threat (CDC, 2010). The CDC makes its contributions to three core functions of the public health, including policy development, assessment, and assurance.
Policy development entails:
- development of policies and plans for supporting individual and community health initiatives;
- research towards new innovative insights and solutions to the varying health problems;
- enforcement of laws and regulations ascertaining and protecting the public health.
- investigation and diagnosis of the community’s problems and health hazards;
- monitoring and observing the community’s health status for the identification of health problems;
- evaluation of accessibility, quality, and effectiveness of personal and population health services.
- ascertaining a skilled and knowledgeable workforce;
- linking the essential health services to the public and facilitating the provision of health care where it is inaccessible;
- educating, empowering, and informing the public on issues relating to health;
- identifying and solving health problems through mobilization of community partnerships and cooperation (CDC, 2010).
CDC’s Influence on the Workplace and Health Care Providers
CDC facilitates the provision of guidelines, information, measurement, and training required to aid health care providers to perform their duties and responsibilities. For instance, CDC issues guidelines relating to hand hygiene in health care environments, oral health, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases guidelines, and recommendations (Novick, Morrow, & Mays, 2008). Furthermore, CDC facilitates health care providers with critical resources such as antibiotic resistance resources, emerging infectious diseases, contradictions to vaccine charts, health care associated infections, guide to community preventive services, indoor environmental integrity, and guide to chemical hazards. The agency keeps health care providers up-to-date with regard to vaccines requirements on the basis of status, emerging infectious diseases, shortages, and delays.
Roles of Agency Workers
In order to effectively and efficiently realize the agency’s mission and objectives, the CDC requires professionally trained public health experts and leaders who are dedicated to the realization of high quality and ethical practice standards. In light of this, CDC has implemented programs that:
- provide training and leadership;
- promote healthy activities and behaviors;
- investigate and detect health problems;
- conduct research aimed at enhancing health and;
- monitoring public health.
Responsibilities, Skills, and Competencies of CDC Workers
While there are a significant number of positions at the CDC; the top designations include public health advisors and analysts, behavioral scientists, health scientists, microbiologists, medical officers, epidemiologists, health informatics, emergency response specialists, health education specialists, and biologists among others (CDC, 2008).
The essential services that CDC workers provide include:
- investigating and diagnosing health problems and hazards for the public;
- identifying community health issues through monitoring the community’s health status;
- empowering, notifying and educating the public on health issues and concerns;
- enforcing laws and regulations protecting and ascertaining the public health safety;
- linking the public to the required health services and ensuring the prompt delivery of health care;
- evaluating accessibility, quality, and effectiveness of individual and community health services;
- assuring the competency of personal and public health care personnel;
- researching for new innovative insights and solutions to health problems and issues.
The competency areas required for CDC work force include skills in basic public health sciences, leadership and systems thinking skills, financial planning and management, community dimensions of practice, communication, analysis and assessment, cultural competency, program planning, and policy development (Novick, Morrow, & Mays, 2008).
Public health intervention emphasizes on managing injuries, diseases or other health concerns through promotion of healthy environments, community, behavior, and surveillance of public health. CDC plays a crucial role in managing public health through initiatives aimed at preventing the occurrence or re-occurrence of health issues through the implementation of administrative service, research, educational programs, and development policies.