Health Promotion FAQs
Q: What is Health Promotion?
A: Health Promotion is a strategy for improving the health of the population by providing individuals, groups and communities with the tools to make informed decisions about their well-being. Moving beyond the traditional treatment of illness and injury, health promotion efforts are centered primarily on the social, physical, economical and political factors that affect health, and include such activities as the promotion of physical fitness, healthy living and good nutrition.
Q: What is the a Health Educator?
A: Health educators are professionals who design, conduct and evaluate activities that help improve the health of all people. These activities can take place in a variety of settings that include schools, communities, health care facilities, businesses, colleges and government agencies. (National Commission For Health Education Credentialing Inc.)
A: Public health addresses the health of the population as a whole rather than medical health care, which focuses on treatment of the individual ailment. According to the Institute of Medicine, the mission of public health is defined as "fulfilling society's interest in assuring conditions in which people can be healthy."
Q: What is the role of Public Health?
A: The role of public health is to promote and protect the health and safety of all community members. This mission is accomplished by:
- identifying health risks in the community;
- maintaining a safe and healthful environment;
- detecting, investigating, and preventing the spread of disease;
- promoting healthy lifestyles;
- providing primary care for individuals with limited access to such care from the private sector; and ensuring that health care practitioners meet the requirements for providing adequate care;
- informing the public on health issues.
Three main roles:
- Health Protection - Environmental conditions, some occurring naturally and others manmade, have an effect upon the well-being of community members. These effects are often of such magnitude and complexity that only government can mount an adequate response. Contamination of the air, ground, water, and food may cause disease or death. Public health tries to prevent or contain such contamination.
- Health Promotion and Disease Prevention - Prevention is the key to success in public health. Health promotion and education programs are designed to inform individuals about positive ways in which they can preserve or restore their own health-smoking cessation, moderation in alcohol consumption, proper diet and exercise, wearing seat belts, etc. Disease intervention programs work to stop the transmission of diseases from a carrier to others by immunizing people against certain diseases, treating new cases as they occur and isolating carriers if necessary, and finding and testing people who have been in contact with an infected patient to administer the proper treatment before the disease becomes contagious.
- Health Treatment - Health care of the sick and disabled is a role that public health undertakes when individuals are too poor or otherwise lack access to health care services.
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