Description of Public Health - Seattle & King County
Public Health — Seattle & King County (Public Health) works to protect and improve the health and well-being of all people in King County as measured by increasing the number of healthy years that people live and eliminating health disparities.
Public Health is the one of the largest metropolitan health departments in the United States with 1500 employees, 40 sites, and a budget of $318 million The department serves a resident population of 1.9 million people in an environment of great complexity and scale, with 19 acute care hospitals and over 7000 medical professionals. Over 100 languages are spoken here, and King County is an international destination welcoming 30 million visitors annually.
Public Health protects the public from threats to their health, promotes better health, and helps to assure that people are provided with accessible, quality health care.
- Health protection functions include disease control, such as tuberculosis, HIV, communicable disease epidemiology and immunizations, and ensuring that the air is safe to breathe, and water and food are safe to consume.
- Health promotion functions include preventing behaviors that lead to disease, averting injuries and managing chronic health conditions.
- Health provision functions include convening and leading system-wide efforts to improve access and quality, advocating for access to quality health care for all, forming partnerships with service providers and directly providing individual health services when there is a public health need.
Department functions are carried out through core prevention programs, environmental health programs, community-oriented personal health care services, emergency medical services, correctional facility health services, Public Health preparedness programs, and community-based public health assessment and practices.