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April, 2007 Common Health: Building a Better Public Health System

Maine has for many years operated with a patchwork approach to public health. A concensus has emerged nationally that a comprehensive public health system should provide ten essential services. These are:

  1. Monitoring health status to identify problems at the community or population level;
  2. Diagnosis and investigation of health problems and health hazards in the community;
  3. Informing, educating and empowering people about health issues;
  4. Mobilizing community partnerships to identify and resolve health problems;
  5. Developing policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts;
  6. Enforcing laws and rules that protect health and ensure safety;
  7. Linking people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when it is otherwise unavailable;
  8. Assuring there is a competent public health and health care workforce;
  9. Evaluating the effectiveness, accessibility and quality of person and population-based health services; and
  10. Researching new insights and innovative solutions to health challenges.

While many states have established comprehensive public health systems to oversee these services, Maine has relied on a variety of government agencies that work with separate missions and leadership. The Baldacci Administration is seeking ways to bring more of these services under one roof, but must balance state and local leadership roles, funding, legacy programs and more.

This edition of common health will bring leaders in public health reform to the airwaves to help us understand how we are affected by public health programs and how we can protect our common health.

Audio Archives

Program Outline (MS Word)


Doug Michael
Shawn Yardley


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