Health care is vital to all of us some of the time, but public health is vital to all of us all of the time. C. Everett Koop, M.D., Former U.S. Surgeon General
Welcome to the Southeastern Idaho Public Health's website. Our site is loaded with easy to use information about all of our high quality, cost effective services; everything from immunizations, to food safety, to personal preparedness, to tips on healthy lifestyles, and much more!
You may be wondering, "What is public health?" In public health, we strive to promote & protect the health of entire populations, rather than particular individuals. To achieve that end, the work we do is based upon three "core functions":
- Assessment involves the regular, systematic collection, analysis, and distribution of information about the health of the community. This includes but is not limited to statistics on health status, community health needs, and studies of health concerns. For example, we conduct annual seat belt observation studies in partnership with the Office of Highway Safety to determine if seat belt use rates are going up, going down, or remaining constant, and then we share that information with our communities via our website, news releases, and community meetings.
- Policy development involves promoting comprehensive public health policies that are grounded in scientific knowledge, and designed to help support and/or maintain positive health-related policy changes. One example is working with communities to develop smoke-free policies for public venues, such as parks and fairs. Another example is working with child care facilities to help them implement policies and practices that lessen the chance of a communicable disease outbreak occurring among its clients and staff.
- Assurance means that public health agencies assure that people living in the communities they serve have access to appropriate, high quality health services. This can occur through encouraging the actions of other community organizations, through regulation, or through providing services directly. For example, we provide high-quality reproductive health services on a sliding scale fee basis, and no one is denied services because of an inability to pay. We also hold regular fluoride varnish clinics designed to help children prevent painful tooth decay.
At SIPH, our vision, mission, & purpose mirror those of public health at a national level, and are tailored to our local needs. Every program we develop strives to improve quality of life in the communities we serve. In short, our mission is: to promote physical and mental health, and to prevent disease, injury, and disability. We achieve this mission by remaining diligent to the following five purposes:
- Prevent epidemics and the spread of disease.
- Protect against environmental hazards.
- Promote and encourage healthy behaviors and overall health.
- Respond to disasters and assist communities in recovery.
- Assure the quality and accessibility of health services.
We hope you find this website helpful. Please contact us any time with any questions you may have about SIPH and the services we provide.
In best health,
Maggie A. Mann,
Director, Southeastern Idaho Public Health