TABLE 9-1 Core Functions and Essential Services of Public Health as Applied to Poison Prevention and Control Services

Core Functions

10 Essential Services


  1. Monitor health status to identify community problems.

  2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and the health hazards in the community.

  3. Evaluate the effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.

Collection, assembly, analysis, and distribution of information on the community’s health

Policy development

  1. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.

  2. Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.

  3. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.

Development of comprehensive policies based on scientific knowledge and decision making



  1. Assure a competent public health and personal health care workforce.

  2. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.

  3. Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.

Determination of needed personal and communitywide health services, and provision of these services by encouraging action by others, by requiring action by others, or by direct provision

Assessment, policy development, and assurance

  1. Research for new insights andinnovative solutions to health problems

SOURCE: Adapted from the IOM report, The Future of Public Health (1988).

and variety of agencies involved with activities related to poisoning is greater at the federal level. Currently there is no single state or federal plan or authority (e.g., legislative, regulatory) that gives one entity accountability for all poison prevention and control activities.

Local and State Health Department Involvement with Poison Prevention and Control Activities

There is no single point of accountability for poison prevention and control activities at most local or state health departments. The few tar-

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