238573 Essential public health services: Going global

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 3:10 PM

Georgeen Polyak, PhD , MPH Program, Benedictine University, Lisle, IL
The increasingly global nature of public health requires a common understanding of public health practices across countries and continents. The “10 Essential Public Health Services” has become the organizing framework for describing, evaluating, and improving public health practice in the United States. Less well known in the U.S. is the list of “11 Essential Public Health Functions” adapted from the U.S. by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). The concordance of the two models (U.S. and WHO/PAHO) allows the opportunity to describe how public health is played out in very different geopolitical contexts. This common vocabulary and conceptual framework can enhance international understanding and cooperation for the improvement of public health in this increasingly inter-connected world. This presentation illustrates the international application of the Essential Public Health Functions/Services framework to the Cuban health system observed during the 2010 APHA delegation to Cuba. This presentation describes the Cuban geo-political context. It then provides a cross-walk of the WHO/PAHO Essential Public Health Functions to the U.S. Essential Public Health Services. It provides a brief history of the development and use of the frameworks. It includes illustrations of how the Cuban system carries out essential services. The conclusion addresses commonalities and differences between the Cuban and U.S. systems. It gives recommendations for strengthening the US system by applying lessons learned from the international public health functions framework.

Learning Areas:
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to compare the U.S. Essential Public Health Services and the WHO Essential Public Health Functions frameworks. 2. Participants will be able to identify improvements to the U.S. public health system based on the WHO framework. 3. Participants will be able to explain the value of an international framework for analyzing and improving public health systems worldwide.

Keywords: Essential Public Health Services, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have done research and published work using the Essential Public Health Services in Illinois. I visited and observed the public health system in Cuba.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.