Wendy E. McCoy
November 26, 2012
Although the terms ‘Public Health Nurse’ and ‘Community Health Nurse’ have been used interchangeably for an undetermined amount of time, significant differences in roles do exist. This paper will describe the history of the Sacramento County Public Health department and the services it provides. I will compare the differences and commonalities between a community health program in Sacramento and those offered through the Public Health Department. In doing so, I aim to highlight the major differences between the roles of the public health nurse versus the community health nurse. History and Structure
Public Health reaches populations through a network that starts at the federal government level, continues at the state level and then the county level. Nationally, public health services are organized and headed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which was formed from the department formerly known as Health, Education and Welfare created in 1953 during President Eisenhower’s term. The delineation into a separate department happened in 1979. (www.hhs.gov, November 2012) The goal of HHS is to provide for the protection of the health of all Americans. It accomplishes this through 11 agencies throughout the US which provide public health services, food and drug safety, and health insurance. It administers many grants which fund these services.
California’s Department of Health Care Services has recently reorganized. Its day to day operations now fall under the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). CDPH’s mission “will [be to] provide more focused state leadership in public health and health care financing and create a more effective public health infrastructure in California (dhs.ca.gov, Nov 2012).” The CDPH provides the primary funding source for all California county public health departments. Public Health...
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