You are here: Home Government Departments Public Health Department About What is public health? Mission and Impact

Mission and Impact

Our Mission

To assure, in partnership with the community, the conditions necessary for people to live healthy lives through prevention and protection programs

Our Vision

A healthy community in which every resident enjoys the best possible state of health and well-being

Our Core Values

  • We will emphasize prevention to keep our community healthy and safe
  • We will lead the development of effective public health interventions in partnership with the community
  • We will promote social justice and reduce inequalities affecting the health of all in Washtenaw County
  • We will abide by ethical principles, take responsibility for our commitments and use our resources wisely

What is public health?

Public health as a discipline exists to prevent disease, promote health and prolong life among the population as a whole. The aim is to provide conditions in which people can be healthy. The focus is on entire populations, rather than on individuals.

Public health is like a health care provider for the entire community. The goal is to prevent health problems before they occur.

Local health departments in Michigan are governmental entities with a legal responsibility to assure the public’s health (Michigan Public Health Code, Public Act 368 of 1978). No other entity assesses threats to the community from communicable and chronic diseases, poor access to health care or health promotion practices or failure to protect the environment.

Our History

During our 75+ years, the Washtenaw County Health Department has: diminished the threats of communicable diseases such as polio, tuberculosis and measles, established an environmental health division that ensures access to safe food, water and air, developed substance abuse, sexual health and healthy eating programs, measured the health status of the county, and worked continuously to ensure the health and safety of all Washtenaw County residents. Explore the timeline below to find out more:

Learn more in our annual reports.
Document Actions
Google Translate