About Public Health


What is public health?

Public health is the combination of programs, policies, and initiatives designed to protect and
promote health in communities where people live, learn work, and play. In collaboration with your
local health department, the Bureau for Public Health works to support and improve health for all
West Virginians across the state.

How does public health work?

When a public health problem is identified, public health professionals respond by addressing four main questions:

1. What is the problem?

2. What is the cause of the problem?​​​​​

3. What will fix the problem?

4. What is needed to put the solution in place?

These questions rely on professionals working across public health core sciences including disease surveillance, prevention efficacy, epidemiology, laboratory sciences, and informatics. As a result they are able to provide a range of many different services such as:

•Assessing and monitoring population health using data and technology

•Investigating disease and addressing health problems in the community

•Communicating information and educating the public

•Developing policies, plans, and laws to protect health for all

•Driving innovation and quality improvement of health services

•Certifying and licensing health facilities

•Addressing outbreaks and illnesses quickly and efficiently

For more information visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn about the 10 Essential Public Health Services.

Public Health Resources

Find out more about public health below:

Legislative rules for 30 day public comment​

West Virginia Code and the Legislative Rule

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Institutes of Health

American Public Health Association

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