If you've ever had a vaccination, assumed the water from your tap is safe, taken your child to daycare, expected the restaurant you eat in to be clean and safe, been screened for tuberculosis, high blood pressure, or some other contagious disease, wondered how to avoid getting West Nile disease, or what to eat to stay healthy, then you've been touched by the efforts of public health employees.
Public health protects and improves communities by preventing epidemics and the spread of disease, promoting healthy lifestyles for children and families, protecting against hazards in homes, work, communities and the environment, assuring high quality health care services, and preparing for and responding to emergencies. There is barely anything not related to or influenced by public health. Public health is literarlly everywhere.
The former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop summed up the importance of public health: “Health care is vital to all of us some of the time, but public health is vital to all of us all of the time.”