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What Is A County Health Department?

A basic function of county government, a county health department develops, implements and administers programs and services that are aimed at maintaining a healthy community. To ensure that these efforts address a community's most important health problems and concerns, the county health department encourages residents to participate in assessing public health needs and in formulating a community health plan. It also works with other community organizations to assure needed services and programs are available.

County health departments are responsible for the provision of the following Essential Public Health Services:

  • Monitor health status to identify community health problems
  • Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community
  • Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues
  • Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems
  • Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
  • Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety
  • Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of healthcare when otherwise unavailable
  • Assure a competent public health and personal health care workforce
  • Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services
  • Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems
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