An Overview of the U.S. Public Health System in the Context of Emergency Preparedness
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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This report describes the U.S. public health infrastructure the structure, organization, and legal basis of domestic public health activities. In contrast with healthcare, public health practice is aimed at decreasing the burden of illness and injury in populations, rather than individuals. Public health agencies use epidemiologic investigation, laboratory testing, information technology, public and provider education, and other tools to support their mission, activities that in turn rely on an adequate and well-trained public health workforce. Federal leadership for public health is based in the Department of Health and Human Services HHS and in particular at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC. Most public health authority, such as mandatory disease reporting, licensing of healthcare providers and facilities, and quarantine authority, is actually based with states as an exercise of their police powers. Local and municipal health agencies vary in size, governance, and authority, but they are the front line in responding to public health threats.
- Administration and Management
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Civil Defense