What is Public Health?

Training Overview

The world’s health needs are changing – evolving day to day, sometimes even hour to hour. It is the role of public health to investigate pressing health challenges and develop meaningful interventions that improve conditions affecting population health. Local board of health officials in Massachusetts should have a foundational knowledge of public health in order to be more effective health and wellness leaders in their community.

Enroll To receive a certificate of completion. This requires registration to establish a learner profile and completion of pre- and post-tests
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What you’ll learn

After completing this training, you will be able to:

  • Define key terms such as health, public health, and health equity
  • Cite multiple factors that lead to increased US Life expectancy in the 20th century
  • Relate the manner in which the eco-social and life course public health conceptual frameworks are connected and distinct
  • Articulate the differences between health spending and what produces health
  • Explain health as a human right

Subject Matter Expert

  • Dr. Sandro Galea
    Dean, Boston University School of Public Health


This training was supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) with funds made available by the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant 4500-1002. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.
This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB6HP27877 “Regional Public Health Training Center Program.” This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.