What exactly is public health? Edward Winslow, a leader of American public health from the first half of the 20th century defined it this way:
“The science and the art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical health and efficiency through organized community efforts for sanitation of the environment, the control of community infections, the education of the individual in principles of personal hygiene, the organization of medical and nursing services for the early diagnosis and preventative treatment of disease, and the development of the social machinery which will ensure to every individual in the community a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health.”
Medical care focuses on individual patients and healing those that are ill, public health regards the community as the patient and focuses on preventing illness.
The Ottawa County Department of Public Health is a complex group of professionals with diverse backgrounds and specializations working together to assure conditions that promote and protect public health in Ottawa County. With this in mind, the following is directory describing some of the services provided by your department of public health: