What is public health? How is it different from health care?
In public health, the goal is to prevent disease or injury in a whole population—a city, state or country, for example. That's different from the goal of health care, which is to care for individuals.
An example may make the distinction sharper: A public health approach to cancer could involve a statewide public awareness campaign about the risk factors for cancer such as smoking or sun exposure, while a health care approach would focus on educating individuals about such risk factors.
This Web site focuses on more than 20 major public health issues facing states today. By clicking on the terms listed on the left, you'll learn about these issues and why they matter to states. You'll also find links to more information—links that state policymakers will find especially useful.