Comparison of Public and Community Health: Pertinent History and Available Resources
The terms public health and community health are oftentimes mistaken to have the same definition; however, the terms although similar have different meanings, as well as implications in application as it applies to health. Both public health and community health serve the health needs of individuals within communities; however, each service began with different approaches to achieve the goals. This paper will define and compare public and community health, the associated objectives, and explore the pertinent history of each service as well as available resources. The use of available resources at the county, state, and national levels will support and promote the health of America so that our nation can continue to promote the health and well-being of all people.
To begin the comparison process, exploration of common terms must occur. Public Health and Community Health have a word that is common to both; health. The World Health Organization (2003) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (Definition of health, para. 1). Therefore, one can assume that the terms public and community health relate to the “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being” (World Health Organization, 2003, para. 1) of individuals in the public or community. Although this is partially true, I will define each term, to understand further the differences between public and community health.
According to Stanhope and Lancaster (2008), the Institute of Medicine defined public health as “Organized community and multidisciplinary efforts, based on epidemiology, aimed at preventing disease and promoting health” (Definitions of selected terms, p. 48). Stanhope and Lancaster (2008)... [continues]
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