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Public Health in the USA


At the moment, the U.S. healthcare sector is undergoing critical reforms aimed at the significant improvement of its functioning and increase of the care affordability for all populations living in the state. However, there are still numerous issues that should be addressed to achieve the final goal and ensure a high quality of care delivery (CDC, 2013). For this reason, numerous agencies monitor the state of public health in the USA.

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Public Health Structure

First of all, the existing system is structured by the Public Health Service Act of 1944 (“History,” 2014). Therefore, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the primary agency that regulates the healthcare sector and introduces all radical alterations to its functioning (“HHS family of agencies,” 2016). Therefore, there are 51 state, 2,794 local government, and 565 federally organized agencies responsible for the care delivery across the country (Public Health Law Center, 2016). Additionally, particular agencies function in different spheres to guarantee the constant improvement of the health environment (“Commonly requested U.S. laws and regulations,” 2017). These are Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (“HHS family of agencies,” 2016). Their cooperative functioning creates the framework for the further development of public health in the state.


However, the given model could be considered a result of a continuous evolution of the sphere. Its roots could be traced to an Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen in 1798 which introduced the first hospitals for this category of patients (“History,” 2014). Since that time the blistering rise of public health could be observed. The growth of the state demanded a radical reorganization of the sphere. That is why the Marine Hospital Service was established on the basis of above-mentioned authorities. Therefore, a huge wave of immigrants arriving in the USA stipulated the need for the improved care and the Marine Hospital Service acquired the responsibility to perform a medical inspection of immigrants. Finally, in 1912, its name was changed to Public Health Service which exists nowadays (“History,” 2014). The Public Health Service Act of 1944 established a specific structure of the sphere and created the basis for its further evolution.

ARNPs Role

Thus, the existence of the system described above is impossible without the efficient functioning of Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNP) who perform diverse tasks and assist patients in their recovery (CDC, 2016). ARNPs are graduate-educated nationally-certified and state licensed registered nurses who care for patients and possess almost the same scope of authorities physicians have. They can examine individuals, investigate their records, determine the main risk factors, prescribe medications, etc. (ANA, n.d.). Regarding a broad range of tasks these specialists perform, their contribution to the development of the healthcare sector becomes evident. They help to decrease a pressure physicians experience due to the growth of patients and their demands. Moreover, their functioning also contributes to the improved outcomes by assessing leading needs of certain communities and offering the most efficient practices to meet these needs. For instance, an ARNP working with the Hispanic community acquires a crucial knowledge related to its members cultural peculiarities and diverse needs that should be considered when delivering care (ANA, n.d.). Under these conditions, the role of an ARNP becomes fundamental for the evolution of the modern healthcare sector.


Altogether, the modern U.S. healthcare sector has a complex structure. It is introduced to meet all patients requirements and satisfy their diverse needs. At the same time, ARNPs play a crucial role in this system by providing essential services to individuals and acquiring information about their culture and other peculiarities.


ANA. (n.d.). Determining scope of practice for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). Web.

CDC. (2013). United States public health 101. Web.

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CDC. (2016). Health Department governance. 

Commonly requested U.S. laws and regulations. (2017). 

HHS family of agencies. (2016). 

History. (2014). Web.

Public Health Law Center. (2016). State & local public health: An overview of regulatory authority. 

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