What is public health?

What is public health? Read more about this important topic.

What is public health?

You’ve probably heard the term public health a lot over the past few years. Because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are paying more attention to this field of study. But what is it?

Defining this important field

The American Public Health Association defines the field this way: “Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play.”

If we want to make our communities healthier, we need to address the social factors that promote health. Social factors are the ways people live and behave.


What social factors encourage good health?

Think about all of the places where people live their lives. This includes where they are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, etc. What are the conditions like in those environments? How do the conditions affect people’s lives? These factors are referred to as the social determinants of health, according to health.gov. Those who work in public health recognize these factors. They understand that these factors have strong influences on health and health equity or inequity.


The growing demand for public health professionals

Experts have known for years that there is a growing shortage of public health professionals. What do these professionals do, exactly? They use proven methods to help prevent problems from happening or recurring. According to CDC Foundation, they do this through:

  • Educational programs
  • Policy recommendations
  • Administering services
  • Conducting research
  • Promoting equity within healthcare

As you can imagine, preventing problems can be harder than actually treating them. But, disease prevention and health promotion programs can help reduce the risk of death and disease. Not only is this beneficial for people, but it actually benefits institutions as well. Interestingly enough, nearly half of all Americans are dealing with at least one pre-existing condition, according to the Department of Health & Human Services.

We need community health professionals to help address people’s needs. Importantly, public health can be a great way to earn a decent salary while serving your community.


Earning a bachelor’s in this important field

Part of our job as public health professionals involves health promotion and health education. Concordia University Wisconsin’s bachelor’s degree in public health gives students the foundational knowledge to do these things with confidence. Our students will learn how to develop appropriate health education campaigns for all populations so that they can expand their health literacy knowledge and be more involved in the decision making process of their health-related needs with their health care providers. Our public health courses prepare our students for their work so that they can make sure everyone can have the healthiest life possible.


Do you want to know more?

If you’re interested in learning more about Concordia University Wisconsin’s Bachelor of Science in Public Health, you can connect with us here. Above all, no matter where you are in your journey, we’re here for you along the way.




— Vanessa Lane is the Content Marketing Lead at Concordia University and can be reached at vanessa.lane@cuaa.edu. When she's not at work, she can be found playing with her kids or watching NBA basketball with her husband.

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