What is public health?

Each year, NMPHI takes part in National Public Health week to spread information on resources, reach new members of the community, and promote public health. We do this in association with the American Public Health Association and the Maine Public Health Association.

American Public Health Assoc.

Maine Public Health Assoc.


From the National Public Health Week website…

About National public health week

During the first full week of April each year, APHA brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health. For over 20 years, APHA has served as the organizer of NPHW. Every year, the Association develops a national campaign to educate the public, policymakers and practitioners about issues related to each year’s theme. APHA creates new NPHW materials each year that can be used during and after NPHW to raise awareness about public health and prevention.

Since the Affordable Care Act became law, the U.S. uninsured rate has dropped to record lows. But continued targeted attempts to dismantle the law include the recent repeal of the individual mandate. Our social safety net programs are being threatened with cuts and for the second year in a row, life expectancy in the United States has dropped.

Read more at NPHW.org.

public health week 2015

12 core principles of public health

From the American Public Health Association website…

1. Public health should address principally the fundamental causes of disease and requirements for health, aiming to prevent adverse health outcomes.

2. Public health should achieve community health in a way that respects the rights of individuals in the community.

3. Public health policies, programs, and priorities should be developed and evaluated through processes that ensure an opportunity for input from community members.

4. Public health should advocate and work for the empowerment of disenfranchised community members, aiming to ensure that the basic resources and conditions necessary for health are accessible to all.

5. Public health should seek the information needed to implement effective policies and programs that protect and promote health.

6. Public health institutions should provide communities with the information they have that is needed for decisions on policies or programs and should obtain the community’s consent for their implementation.

7. Public health institutions should act in a timely manner on the information they have within there sources and the mandate given to them by the public.

8. Public health programs and policies should incorporate a variety of approaches that anticipate and respect diverse values, beliefs, and cultures in the community.

9. Public health programs and policies should be implemented in a manner that most enhances the physical and social environment.

10. Public health institutions should protect the confidentiality of information that can bring harm to an individual or community if made public. Exceptions must be justified on the basis of the high likelihood of significant harm to the individual or others.

11. Public health institutions should ensure the professional competence of their employees.

12. Public health institutions and their employees should engage in collaborations and affiliations in ways that build the public’s trust and the institution’s effectiveness.


These core principles were published in the APHA’s “Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health”. To read that publication, please click here.

public health week 2015