Definition of Public Health
- Explicitly, a public health is an institution owned and managed by the government; it provides medical intervention to the people. It is the entity that is charged with the responsibility of providing medical care for the majority (Turnock, 2008).
- It also provides emergency support to the patients within the community of operation, and acts as a referral hospital (Turnock, 2008).
Mission of Public Health
To be the best public institution that provides emergency intervention health services to the people within the community, and support the health initiatives (Turnock, 2008).
- To provide healthcare to the people within the given communities.
- To respond to emergency needs of the patients, especially those with serious injuries.
- To be the pioneers in promoting hygiene and environmental safety measures, which help the community (Turnock, 2008).
- To execute plans on the medical services intervention and operations for the benefits of the local residents of the particular area.
- To provide a reliable structure for organizing and disseminating state assistance to the community (Turnock, 2008).
Basis of Public Health
- Public Health provides intervention mechanisms to minimize or eradicate environmental hazards and/or threats (Schneider, 2010).
- Helping to initiate and support community emergency programs and events that are aimed at assisting the public.
- Public health assess and assist the population to get their medical needs (Schneider, 2010).
- They provide health surveillance to the community so that they could detect all possible epidemic outbreak.
Nature of Public Health
- Public health is managed by the government for the benefit of the community (Gruber & Schreiber, 2011).
- Public health deals with promoting the healthy living of the people within the given environmental setup.
- Public health also promotes public participation on matters dealing with community health, thus plays an integral role in sustainable development (Gruber & Schreiber, 2011).
- The management and funding of public health is done by the government in collaboration with other aid agencies (Gruber & Schreiber, 2011).
- Notably, the cost of getting medical attention in public health institution is relatively cheaper compared to other private service providers.
Focus of Public Health
- In most cases, public health focuses on the welfare of the community in terms of the people’s health.
- It also focuses on the monitoring of possible disease outbreaks and provides an immediate medical intervention (Schneider, 2010).
- Under the health facilities, the public health should focus on patients’ care and the security of blood and its products for emergency needs (Schneider, 2010).
- The public health should also focus on the security of biologics, medical devices and the drugs.
- Public health also focuses on the general hygiene in the community to minimize cases of increased disease outbreak (Schneider, 2010).
Historical Figures of Public Health
- Some of the historical figures who have played a crucial role in public health include the following (Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2009);
- John M. Colmers, who was the Secretary, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
- James Johnson, who was Principal Deputy Secretary, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
- Frank Philip, who was Deputy Secretary for Public Health, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
- Sherry Adams, Director Office of Preparedness and Response, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Contribution of the Historical Figures
- According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2009, the historical figures contributed to the success of the establishment of the health facility for the benefit of the communities in the region.
- They established the foundation for policy formulation on issues relating to public health.
- They contributed to the development of a communal approach in tackling the spread of infectious diseases in Maryland through sensitizing the people on preventive rather than focusing on curative.
- In addition, they also contributed to the advancement of medical facilities in the communities in Maryland.
Importance of Public Health
- Public health is for the good of the majority, especially those who might not afford the cost of private medical help (Gruber & Schreiber, 2011).
- Public health provides the needed immediate medical intervention to curb the outbreak and further spread of diseases.
- Public health also helps in creating awareness on communicable diseases, thus, equipping people to be able to fight their spread.
- Public health also makes it easy for the people to use local resources in the area (Gruber & Schreiber, 2011).
- Public health promotes community hygiene, thus enhancing the safety of the residents of the area.
Organization of Public Health
- Concerning the organization, public health system falls under the governor of state (Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2009).
- Under the governor is the secretary who is responsible for documenting the operations.
- Under the secretary are deputy of secretary in charge of Medical care financing, operations, behavioral health and disabilities, and public health services.
- The deputies are followed by the health professionals operating under the board.
Roles of the State
- The State provides funds to meet the medical cost of medical intervention and eliminate injustices (Levy & Sidel, 2009).
- The state also coordinates sand facilitates the management of medical resources within its area of jurisdiction.
- The state also facilitates intervention processes to curb the spread of epidemics in the area, by making sure that the drugs and other medical facilities are available when needed.
- The state formulates policies running the medical facilities within their area of jurisdiction (Levy & Sidel, 2009).
Workforce of the Maryland Health Department
- The workforce is charged with the daily operations at the Maryland Health Department;
- Chief medical officers and doctors in charge of various health sectors, including among others, dental health, Aids administration, Children’s health, operations and pregnancy, heart and other cardiac diseases, family heath and laboratories among others (Levy, B. & Sidel, V. (2009).
- There are nurses in all departments and other health support or subordinate staff. The latter’s roles include keeping the hospital environment clean, both in and out of the rooms.
Findings Laws of Maryland’s Public Health
- According to (Gordis, 2008), the laws governing public health in Maryland can be found from;
- The office of the State Governor.
- Such laws could be found from the Secretary who is in charge of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
- They could also be found from the department of safety.
Communities Served By the State Health Department
- The communities served by the state health department include (Gordis, 2008);
- Ocean Pines
- Baltimore among others.
Demographics of the People Served
- In Maryland, the public health system is not discriminative and serves all people in the different demographic categories in the country (Gordis, 2008).
- For example, public health targets, irrespective of gender, profession or race, the aged, the adults, the youth, the children, and the disabled (Gordis, 2008).
- The nature of disability, be it physical, mental, social or a combination of all.
Overview of Public Health
- In Maryland, public health systems work closely with other hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, private service providers, outpatient clinics, nurse practitioners, health educators and many other parties (O’Conor, 2011).
- Such coordinating efforts enablethe public health system to cope with the challenging health issues in the communities.
- Public health has also succeeded in providing emergency responses to epidemic outbreak in the community, thus, increasing the epidemiological study (O’Conor, 2011).
Use of Epidemiological Information
- The available epidemiological and research information that is used in assessment, policy development and program planning (Colorectal Cancer, 2011). At the Maryland health department such information includes the following;
Table 1: Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Mortality Rates* by Race/Ethnicity, 2003-2007
Data Collection by the State Health Department
- Data collection was carried out by doing research and taking the statistics from patients visiting the health facilities (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2010).
- Data collection was also carried out by the health experts in various fields of study; each disease was recorded on its own to make the work easier (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2010).
- This makes sure that records are accurate and reliable for conducting future research.
Overview of Infectious Diseases
- Infectious diseases are the illnesses, which spread from one person to another, either through air or sexual contact (McCormick, 2010).
- Some of the infectious diseases include HIV/AIDS, which spread through sexual contacts, blood transfusion, or through mother to child transmission (McCormick, 2010).
- Another example of infectious disease is tuberculosis, which is spread through the air. This is very dangerous even to the doctors, since they can easily be affected by the disease (McCormick, 2010).
- Notably, the patients with infectious diseases are separated to minimize chances of spreading the diseases (McCormick, 2010).
Overview of Chronic Diseases
- Chronic diseases are those which are persistent in the patient’s body. In Maryland, such diseases include hemodialysis, drug infusion therapy among other acute health conditions (McCormick, 2010).
- On such health condition, the medical practitioners have to find a way of dealing with the conditions before they get worse (McCormick, 2010).
- The health system in Maryland has adequate facilities to minimize the impacts of the chronic diseases and protect the workers who might be grossly affected by the condition (McCormick, 2010).
Importance of Integrating Genetic Information with Public Health
- Integrating genetic information with public health makes the intervention process yield the desirable outcome.
- It also helps the doctors determine the level of success in their intervention, thereby being able to control the diseases (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2010).
- It is also the most effective way to enhance planning and carrying out medical operations in the area.
- It is also the key to preventing the spread of infectious and chronic diseases (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2010).
Public Health Challenges
- Some of the major public health challenges facing the state of Maryland include;
- First, the cost of medical intervention is very high, sometimes calling for the intervention of external assistance whenever the medical facility is incapacitated (McCormick, 2010).
- Second, in cases of acute medical condition, the public health system in Maryland might not be able to deal with the situation effectively to minimize its impacts (McCormick, 2010).
- Third, the public health system also finds it difficult to intervene and eradicate infectious and chronic health conditions, thereby unable end them, though meaningful level of success has been achieved (McCormick, 2010).
- Fourth, staff shortage also poses a great challenge since the available doctors might not be able to cater for the increasing number of those seeking medical attention (McCormick, 2010).
- In summary, Maryland has made significant progress in handling the issues related to public health.
- Though there are challenges, the care providers have been successful in responding to emergency interventions in the communities in Maryland.
- The service providers have also been successful in intervening serious medical situations to control infectious and chronic diseases.
- In addition, the service providers have also intensified the creation of awareness to the people on issues related to public health.
Colorectal Cancer. (2011). Facts and Figures. Web.
Gordis, L. (2008). Epidemiology: with STUDENT CONSULT Online Access, 4e. New York, NY: Saunders.
Gruber, J. & Schreiber, N. (2011) Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works. New York, NY: Hill and Wang Press.
Levy, B. & Sidel, V. (2009). Social Injustice and Public Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. (2009). Public Health And Medical Services Operations Plan. Web.
McCormick, S. (2010). The Environmental Links to Breast Cancer. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Melnyk , B. M. & Fineout-Overholt , E. (2010) Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing & Healthcare: A Guide to Best Practice. New York, NY: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
O’Conor, H. R. (2011). Department of Health & Mental Hygiene: Public Health Services. Web.
Schneider, M. J. (2010). Introduction To Public Health. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Turnock, B. J. (2008). Public Health: What It Is and How It Works . New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.