The concept of a public health system, as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a complex network of individuals and organizations that have the potential to play significant roles in creating the conditions for health. The component parts of a potential system can improve health individually, but when they work together toward a health goal they act as a true system – a public health system.
– Institute of Medicine, The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century, 2003
The idea of a local public health system recognizes that health improvement is best achieved at a local or regional level using a collaborative approach. Local communities can come together to identify health problems, galvanize a community response, and devise appropriate solutions based on available resources.
The vision for a Regional Public Health Network includes:
- Serving as a local, collaborative entity with collective responsibility for the health and safety of community residents;
- Coordinating comprehensive health improvement efforts at the local level, including assuring sufficient capacity exists for an effective response to emerging public health threats;
- Assuring the delivery of the Ten Essential Services of Public Health at the local level;
- Serving as the local liaison with state agencies involved in the public’s health and safety; and
- Coordinating the effective use of state prevention and health promotion funds at the local level.
“The New Hampshire Public Health Network: Creating Local Public Health Infrastructure Through Community-Driven Partnerships”
Published in the “Journal of Public Health Management Practice”, this article describes the history and development of the New Hampshire Public Health Network.