is a prevalent issue in your community Research national, state, and local government health agency websites for information on your chosen health issue. Write a 700 word summary of your findings. Your summary should: Analyze the structure and function of public health at national, state, and local levels. In your analysis, include: What type of structure you see between levels of government What functions you see at each level of government How the levels of government work together

Summary: Structure and Function of Public Health at National, State, and Local Levels


In understanding the structure and function of public health at national, state, and local levels, it is essential to analyze the interplay between different levels of government and their respective roles. This summary seeks to provide insights into the structure, functions, and collaborative efforts of governments in addressing prevalent health issues at each level.

Structure between Levels of Government

Public health in the United States operates within a federalist system, where power is divided between the national, state, and local governments. At the national level, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plays a critical role in setting the overall public health policies and standards for the country. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are key agencies involved in researching, monitoring, and disseminating health-related information.

At the state level, departments of health are responsible for implementing national policies and tailoring them to state-specific needs. These departments may have variations in their names, such as State Departments of Public Health or Health and Human Services. Their primary function is to ensure the well-being of the population within their jurisdictions by addressing health issues, promoting healthy living, and regulating healthcare providers.

At the local level, government health agencies, such as county or city health departments, play a vital role in delivering public health services directly to the communities they serve. They are responsible for identifying and addressing local health concerns, implementing health promotion and disease prevention programs, and collaborating with community partners to improve the overall health status of the population.

Functions at Each Level of Government

The national government focuses on a range of functions to protect and promote public health. The CDC, for instance, provides leadership and support for disease surveillance, prevention, and control at the national level. It conducts research, investigates outbreaks, develops guidelines, and offers technical assistance to states and localities. The CDC also plays a vital role in emergency preparedness and response, ensuring that systems are in place to detect and respond to public health emergencies.

Similarly, the NIH conducts biomedical research, funds scientific studies, and supports training programs to advance medical knowledge and improve public health outcomes. Its efforts span various fields, including basic and clinical research, epidemiology, and biomedical technology development.

State governments have the responsibility of tailoring national policies to meet their specific needs and ensuring their effective implementation. The state health departments engage in a variety of functions, such as disease surveillance, health education and promotion, licensing and regulation of healthcare providers, and administration of public health programs. They also collaborate closely with local health departments and other stakeholders to address regional health concerns and promote coordinated efforts.

Local government health agencies are at the forefront of delivering public health services directly to the community. Their functions include disease prevention and control, environmental health monitoring, immunization programs, and health education. They often work closely with community-based organizations, healthcare providers, and schools to reach the population and partner in health promotion initiatives.

Collaboration between Levels of Government

Collaboration between national, state, and local governments is crucial for the effective management of public health. The federal government sets overall policies, guidelines, and standards, which state and local governments adapt to their specific contexts. This cooperative approach ensures that public health efforts are tailored to the diverse needs of different communities while maintaining a cohesive national framework.

At the national level, there are numerous mechanisms in place to foster collaboration. The CDC, for example, provides funding, technical assistance, and training to state and local health departments. The CDC’s public health emergency response programs also involve joint planning, resource allocation, and coordination with state and local partners.

State and local governments collaborate through formal partnerships, such as joint initiatives, memorandums of understanding, and shared resources. These collaborations facilitate the exchange of information and resources, allowing for better coordination in addressing health issues that span multiple jurisdictions.

Furthermore, local health departments frequently collaborate with national and state agencies on specific projects or initiatives. This collaboration may involve data sharing, joint implementation of programs, and mutual support during emergencies.


Understanding the structure and function of public health across different levels of government is essential in addressing prevalent health issues. The national, state, and local governments play distinct yet interconnected roles in ensuring the health and well-being of the population. Through collaboration, they work together to develop effective policies, implement public health programs, and respond to health emergencies. This multi-level approach is vital for promoting the health of communities and protecting the overall well-being of the nation.