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The Core Functions of Public Health

Public health consists of the entities that promote the delivery of vital public services in a voluntary, private, or public nature. The mentioned concept ensures that the contribution of all the involved entities is recognized among the efforts of increasing the well-being of communities. Policy development, assessment, and assurance are the three core functions of public health, each of which integrates several public health services (“The public health system”, 2018).

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The function of assessment implies continuous monitoring of a community’s health status to reveal emerging problems as well as investigating any health hazards. In turn, a policy development function prioritizes informing and educating people regarding environmental health aspects. By mobilizing partnerships across the community, this function also strengthens the cooperation between different facilities and stakeholders (Martin-Moreno, Harris, Jakubowski, & Kluge, 2016).

Based on the assessment, policy development designs plans and policies, thus supporting individual and collective efforts. Furthermore, the assurance function is related to such public health services as implementing regulations and laws and providing an environmental health workforce. The evaluation of the results of interventions being introduced along with research is two more essential areas.

In delivering community service care, cultural competency is important to meet the cultural, social, religious, and linguistic needs of diverse populations. According to Truong, Paradies, and Priest (2014), cultural competency helps to improve patient health outcomes and address ethnic/racial disparities. Shen (2015) states that minorities are disproportionately overwhelmed by chronic diseases, which is especially pronounced among older adults and women. In this connection, cultural competence ensures better access of minor populations to healthcare benefits, improves their awareness of illnesses, and eliminates communication barriers. The increased patient satisfaction and enhanced health indicators are the consequences of adopting cultural competency at a public health level.


Martin-Moreno, J. M., Harris, M., Jakubowski, E., & Kluge, H. (2016). Defining and assessing public health functions: A global analysis. Annual Review of Public Health, 37, 335-355.

The public health system & the 10 essential public health services. (2018). Web.

Shen, Z. (2015). Cultural competence models and cultural competence assessment instruments in nursing: A literature review. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(3), 308-321.

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Truong, M., Paradies, Y., & Priest, N. (2014). Interventions to improve cultural competency in healthcare: A systematic review of reviews. BMC Health Services Research, 14(1), 99-116.

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