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The Definition of Public Health, Comparison to Personal Heath and Benefits of Assessments

1. Define public/community health. How does this differ from personal health?

2. What are the benefits of public health assessments? What are the disadvantages, if any? Give an example of a potential conflict within the community that could arise as a result of public health assessments. How can public health advocates and policy makers prevent and/or manage such a conflict?

3. How can public health assessments be used to form public policy?

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1.Define public/community health. How does this differ from personal health?

Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" (Winslow, 1920). This differs from personal health because it looks at health from a larger viewpoint and scale. Public health looks at the board picture: fighting contagions, identifying troubling symptoms and illnesses and alerting the public, eradicating communicable diseases, expanding the life span of the general population. Personal health deals with the individual choices each of us make about risk and other issues that affect our health. These might include our dietary choices, lifestyle habits (wearing a seatbelt, smoking, participating in unsafe sex), and actions (high stress occupation, vaccination record, visiting doctor when ill.)

Sanchez, R.F. (2005). Health: Public vs. Personal. James Madison Institute. Retrieved from http://www.jamesmadison.org/pdf/materials/338.pdf.

Winslow, Charles-Edward Amory (1920 Jan 9). The Untilled Fields of Public Health Science. Retrieved from http://www.whatispublichealth.org/.

2. What are the benefits of public health assessments? What are the ...

Solution Summary

Public/community health is defined and contrasted with personal health. The advantages and disadvantages of public health assessments are identified. An example of a possible conflict is given as well as examples of how policy makers and advocates can minimize this conflict. The relationship between public health assessments and formation of public policy is explained. APA references are included.

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