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Barton County

Health Department


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Public Health

If you’ve ever 

  • had a vaccination, 
  • assumed the water from your tap is safe, 
  • taken your child to daycare, 
  • expected the restaurant you eat in to be clean and safe, 
  • been screened for tuberculosis, high blood pressure, or some other contagious disease, 
  • wondered how to avoid getting influenza, or 
  • what to eat to stay healthy, 

then you have been touched by the efforts of public health employees.



Public health protects and improves communities by:  preventing epidemics and the spread of disease; promoting healthy lifestyles for children and families; protecting against hazards in homes, work, communities and the environment; assuring high quality health care services; and preparing for and responding to emergencies.  There is little of daily life not related to or influenced by public health.  Public health is everywhere.


Public Health Core Functions and Essential Services


Assessment, monitoring, and surveillance of local health problems and needs, and of resources for dealing with them.

Essential Service #1:  Monitor health status and identify community health issues

Essential Service #2:  Diagnose and investigate community health problems and health hazards


Policy Development

Policy development and leadership that fosters local involvement and a sense of ownership that emphasizes local needs and that advocates equitable distribution of public resources and

complementary private activities commensurate with community needs.

Essential Service #3:  Give people the information they need to make healthy choices

Essential Service #4:  Engage the community to identify and solve health problems

Essential Service #5:  Develop public health policies and plans



Assurance that high-quality services, including personal health services, needed for protection of public health in the community are available and accessible to all persons; that the community receives proper consideration in the allocation of federal, state and local resources for public health; and that the community is informed about how to obtain public health, including personal health services, or how to comply with public health requirements.

Essential Service #6:  Enforce public health law and regulations

Essential Service #7:  Help people receive health services

Essential Service #8:  Maintain a competent public health workforce

Essential Service #9:  Evaluate and improve programs


System Management

Essential Service #10:  Contribute to and apply the evidence base of public health