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Orientation to Public Health for Students. September 2011. Welcome to Public Health. This presentation will provide you with an overview of: What is public health Who works in public health What public health professionals do

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Presentation Transcript
welcome to public health
Welcome to Public Health

This presentation will provide you with an overview of:

  • What is public health
  • Who works in public health
  • What public health professionals do
  • Foundational documents and resources that will help you to work in public health
  • Preceptorships in public health - Preceptor, student and faculty roles
  • What to expect in a public health placement
what is public health
What is public health?
  • Watch you tube video clip – be mindful that it was made in the USA so might be a little different than what we do here in Canada for public health.


how is public health different from acute care
How is public health different from acute care?

Acute care hospitals (Primary Care)

Public health (Primary Health Care)

Focus is on Prevention

Patients are families, communities and entire populations

Diagnosis – epidemiological studies and community input

Treatment – Education, inspection, advocacy, clinical services, vaccination, media communication

Focus is on Treatment

Patients are individuals and families

Diagnosis – physical exams and tests

Treatment – Medication, surgery and therapy

the five key functions of public health are
The five key functions of public health are:

Health Promotion

Disease Prevention

Health Protection


Population Health Assessment

who works in public health
Who works in public health?



Nurse Practi-tioners





Dental hygienists

Administra-tive Profession-


Social workers

Program Planners/Evaluators

Health Promoter

Health Protection & Promotion ActGovernance

Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion

Population Health

Board of Health

Public Health Units

Medical Officer of Health

health protection promotion act board of health
Health Protection & Promotion Act:Board of Health
  • Mandate health units to perform functions in health promotion & disease prevention
  • Ensure the provision of mandated programs & services
  • Establish overall objectives & priorities for Health Units
  • Ensure accountability to the community
health protection promotion act medical officer of health moh
Health Protection & Promotion Act:Medical Officer of Health (MOH)
  • Directs the overall provision and implementation of programs & services
  • Evaluates effectiveness & recommends appropriate changes
  • Reports findings to the Board of Health
  • Hired by and accountable to the Board of Health

Dr. Arlene King, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Public Health Division, Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care

ontario public health standards
Ontario Public Health Standards

Public Health Standards have established program standards in five main areas:

  • Chronic Diseases and Injuries
  • Family Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Environmental Health
  • Emergency Preparedness
priority populations
Priority Populations
  • These are the population groups at risk of socially produced health inequities
factors influencing health
Education Social Inclusion Income Employment Early Childhood Development Housing Food Security Factors influencing health


Determinants of Healthhttp://www.sdhu.com/content/healthy_living/doc.asp?folder=3225&parent=3225&lang=0&doc=11749#video
  • Income and social status
  • Social support networks
  • Education and literacy
  • Employment/working conditions
  • Personal health practices and coping skills
  • Healthy child development
  • Biology and genetic endowment
  • Health Services
  • Gender
  • Culture
determinants of population health a complex interaction of many factors
Determinants of population health: A complex interaction of many factors

Therefore in public health we need to ask ourselves key questions when thinking about and planning our programs and services:

  • In what ways can public health support and advocate for programs and services for priority populations?
  • What barriers are in place that we need to address in order to help priority populations access programs and services?
  • In what ways can public health improve the environments where people live, work, learn and play so that priority populations have greater access to opportunities for health?
  • In what ways can public health improve the social and economic conditions that put individuals at greater risk of poor health?
health equity
Health Equity

Equity in health implies that ideally everyone could attain their full health potential and that no one should be disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of their social position or other socially determined circumstance.

Whitehead, M. & Dahlgren, G. (2006)

what would happen if we didn t have public health
What would happen if we didn’t have public health?
  • Infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis, Measles, Mumps and Whooping Cough would be prevalent
  • People would be ill from food poisoning and poor drinking water
  • More babies would be hospitalized due to difficulty feeding and more mothers would give up breastfeeding earlier
  • More youth and adults would be smoking or abusing drugs and alcohol
  • Unwanted pregnancies would increase, as would the spread of STIs
12 great achievements
12 Great Achievements
  • Safer and healthier foods
  • Control of infectious diseases
  • Healthier environments
  • Vaccination
  • Recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard
  • Motor-vehicle safety
12 great achievements continued
12 Great Achievements (continued)
  • Decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Healthier mothers and babies
  • Acting on the social determinants of health
  • Universal policies
  • Safer workplaces
  • Family planning

Source: www.cpha100.ca/12-great-achievements

core competencies
Core Competencies
  • Public Health Sciences
  • Assessment & Analysis
  • Policy & Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation
  • Partnership, Collaboration & Advocacy
  • Diversity & Inclusiveness
  • Communication
  • Leadership
many opportunities
Many Opportunities

to contribute

to the health

of society

preparing for a public health placement
Preparing for a public health placement
  • Go to your health unit website and read about programs and services
  • Talk to previous students who have had placements in public health
  • Meet with your preceptor to get to know him/her and find out specifics about your placement
preparing for your public health placement
Preparing for your public health placement
  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (www.health.gov.on.ca)
    • Guidelines for the Provision of Mandatory Health Programs & Services (OPHS)
  • Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport (www.mhp.gov.on.ca)
  • Public Health Agency of Canada (www.phac-aspc.gc.ca): Core Competencies in Public Health
  • Public Health Ontario (www.publichealthontario.ca)
  • Ontario Public Health Standards (www.health.gov.on.ca)
  • Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (www.who.int/hpr/NPH/ottawa_charter_hp.pdf)
  • Ontario Public Health Association OPHA (www.opha.on.ca)
  • Health Protection and Promotion Act (www.e-laws.gov.on.ca)
what to expect in a public health placement
What to expect in a public health placement
  • Expect to move around a lot and be in many places such as in homes and in community agencies
  • Expect to broaden your thinking and view of what public health does
  • Expect to attend meetings and have days when you may not necessarily “see” a client
  • Expect to feel overwhelmed and to feel out of place (at first) as it takes time to get to know the people you are working with and what to expect
  • Expect to meet a lot of friendly people who love what they do!

The Student Placement, Education & Preceptorship (SPEP) Network has agreed to post this PowerPoint presentation as part of the SPEP Resource Library. This resource is provided as a sample for reference purposes only and is not intended as a complete orientation.

This resource was adapted with permission of the following health units:

  • Niagara Region Public Health
  • Sudbury & District Health Unit
  • City of Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health