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4.1 Defining Health

Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and wholeness. Social determinants that affect health outcomes include access to health care, a safe environment, healthy food and habits, and having social support for one’s mental health. Public health nursing aims to improve health outcomes of the population by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.

4.2 Performance Metrics

A population health measure or metric is an indicator that reflects the quality of a group’s overall health and well-being. Life expectancy at birth, morbidity, mortality, and premature death are examples of population health outcome measures. Summary measures of population health combine data from the basic metrics, such as mortality and nonfatal disease outcomes, to obtain a single numerical statistic.

4.3 Health in America

The United States has the highest health care spending compared to peer countries but has worse health outcomes. Healthy People 2030 identifies high-priority health issues and challenges, which are referred to as leading health indicators (LHIs). LHIs are objectives that cover the lifespan and allow for the assessment and promotion of health at the community, state, and national levels. Mortality trends guide the development of public health policies.

4.4 World Health Statistics

World health statistics are important to health care on a global basis. The results of statistical measurements indicate that people continue to live longer and live more years in good health. Health inequalities that take a toll on life and health are present in areas that do not have adequate resources. United Nations (UN) member countries developed sustainable development goals (SDGs) to create a more fair, just, and equitable world. SDGs are a call to action to address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, and climate change and promote peace and justice.

4.5 Global Public Health Security

Global public health security functions to prevent, detect, and respond to security threats. In the United States, the CDC works to protect the American people’s health, safety, and security and fight global health threats worldwide.

The CDC’s efforts to promote public health security focus on four interventions: surveillance systems, laboratory systems, emergency management, and workforce development. The CDC also works with other U.S. government agencies, such as the Office of Global Affairs (OGA), and with ministries of health and international organizations to meet global health security goals.


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