Orientation to the Essentials of Public Health - Intermediate Level

Course Description:

The purpose of this course is to focus on the basic principles and core elements of public health and trace its evolution. The course reviews the public health system and its roles and responsibilities. It is also important to understand the challenge to measure health and address the nationally recognized core public health competencies. Lastly, participants are given a glimpse at public health issues that face us today and ones that are on the horizon.

Target Audience

Academic Faculty/Staff, Federal Government Employees, State Government Employees, Local Government Employees, Non-Government Employees and Students

Learning Objectives

Module 1

  • Describe early movements that influenced public health and the key individuals
  • Describe the different eras of public health from 1800-2000
  • Describe successes/achievements in public health history
  • Identify the ethics and values that make public health a unique profession
  • Describe the legal basis for public health in America

Module 2

  • Identify different definitions of health - including physical, mental, and social well-being
  • Describe factors that influence health
  • List the ten leading causes of death and the actual causes of death
  • Describe health measurement activities such as Healthy People 2010

Module 3

  • Describe the difference between population-based public health and personal health services
  • Identify the three core functions and ten essential services in public health, and explain their historical development
  • Identify strategies to incorporate additional essential services into the participant's program area
  • Describe the National Public Health Performance Standards Program and its impact on public health practice

Module 4

  • Describe how the local, state, and federal levels of government impact health
  • Describe the importance of collaborations and coalitions, and the basic steps in coalition development  
  • Describe the community planning model in public health - Mobilizing Action through Planning and Partnerships

Module 5

  • Identify the eight competency domains for public health workers
  • Understand the relationship between core competencies for public health workers and the essential services
  • Identify strategies to strengthen individual competencies

Module 6

  • Identify key questions professionals ask in creating a new future
  • Identify major challenges facing the public health system in their communities
  • Identify new or changed roles for their programs and for themselves based on this course
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 4.00 Participation/CE
    Tulane Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) awards 4.00 hour(s) of credit for completing Orientation to the Essentials of Public Health - Intermediate Level
Course opens: 
Course expires: 


Patrick Flaherty, MPP

Patrick Flaherty, MPP

Patrick Flaherty received his Master's Degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Policy in 1996. From 1996 to 1998, he served as a policy analyst for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in Washington, DC. In 1998, he joined the Public Health Prevention Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. He worked in the National Immunization Program, the Public Health Practice Program Office, and in India with the Global Polio Eradication campaign.

As part of his CDC assignment, he relocated to New Orleans in January 2000, to work with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Louisiana Public Health Institute on workforce development, tobacco prevention and control, and access to care for the uninsured. Upon finishing the Public Health Prevention Service in 2001, Flaherty returned to Atlanta where he currently serves as a Public Health Analyst in the CDC National Immunization Program, Office of the Director, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Legislation.

Available Credit

  • 4.00 Participation/CE
    Tulane Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) awards 4.00 hour(s) of credit for completing Orientation to the Essentials of Public Health - Intermediate Level


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Required Hardware/software

System Settings 
This course is designed to work most effectively if your computer and internet connection meet certain minimal requirements. This course can be accessed using a Windows 10 PC or a Mac with High Sierra1, Mojave, or Catalina. Pop-up blockers should be disabled when viewing the course. Internet Explorer 11 (for Windows 10), or the current version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari (for Windows 10 and or Mac) is required. Many of our courses require Java and JavaScript enabled. 

Links to External Websites   
Links to websites outside this course will open in a new window or tab. Some browsers may minimize the course window. If this occurs, maximize the course window to return to the course. 

Adobe Acrobat Reader (for desktops and laptops)  
Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to access some documents in this course. If you need to download a free copy of Acrobat Reader, click here.  

Internet Connection Speed 
A minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps is recommended for an optimal experience, which is commonly the speed associated with a basic DSL or a cellular/satellite connection. A faster connection, such as cable or fiber service, with further enhance your online experience. A Wi-Fi connection is generally acceptable, but it is dependent upon one of the two services mentioned above. You can check your internet connection speed at http://www.speedtest.net/.