Public health refers to those activities by which a society attempts to increase life expectancy, decrease morbidity, and help improve health-related quality of life.
There has often been a widespread misconception that public health is limited to “health care for low-income families.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a list of the ten Great Public Health Achievements in the twentieth century that remind us of how far we have come, how we got here, and exactly what public health is: the active protection of a nation’s health and safety, credible information to enhance health decisions, and partnerships with local minorities and organizations to promote good health. The choices of topics for this list were based on the opportunity for prevention and the impact on death, illness, and disability: they are not ranked by order of importance. The list includes the following: vaccination, motor-vehicle safety, safer workplaces, control of...
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