The Ten Essential Public Health Services describe the public health activities that should be undertaken in all communities and were developed as a companion to the three core public health functions.
In their 1988 report, The Future of Public Health, the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) defined the three core functions of governmental public health as assessment, policy development, and assurance. The Core Public Health Functions Steering Committee developed the framework for the Essential Services in 1994. This steering committee included representatives from US Public Health Service agencies and other major public health organizations. The Essential Services provide a working definition of public health and a guiding framework for the responsibilities of local public health systems.
- Monitor health status to identify and solve 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 and action 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 health care when otherwise unavailable.
- Assure competent public 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.
Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Public Health Performance Standards Program.