Public Health is an interdisciplinary field of study and practice with two primary goals – the prevention of illness, disease, and injury; and the promotion and protection of human health. In achieving these goals, public health emphasizes social justice, supports human rights, and respects the dignity of individuals and the integrity of communities.
Public health professionals track outbreaks of disease, conduct community health assessments, plan health education programs, and direct campaigns to reduce risk factors that foster chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. They develop and advocate policies, both public and private, that reduce harmful environmental exposures and that provide increased access to preventive health services for underserved populations. Many engage in public health research and support global health initiatives here and abroad.
Public health professionals perform these tasks in state and local health departments, community health centers and hospitals, non-governmental health organizations (NGOs), schools and universities, professional health agencies, health insurance companies, and businesses.