Help Shape the Future of Public Health: Revisiting the 10 Essential Public Health Services

by Jessica Solomon Fisher, MCP


10 Essential PH Services

“Now is your chance to inform the field, and practice, of public health for years to come. Please take the time to share your thoughts and reimagine what a framework might look like that would take us into the next 25 years and beyond.” Jessica Solomon Fisher, PHNCI Chief Innovations Officer

The graphic below likely looks familiar to most of the people who are reading this blog. Developed in 1994 by a federal working group, it was meant to serve as the description of activities that local public health systems should undertake in all communities. And it’s done just that for that past 25 years. Used as the basis for PHAB accreditation, embedded in Healthy People 2020, taught in schools of public health, and used by health departments and others, the 10 Essential Public Health Services (EPHS) framework has provided a roadmap of goals for carrying out the mission of public health in communities around the nation.                  10 Essential PH Services

10 Essential PH Services

However, the public health landscape has shifted dramatically over the past 25 years, and many public health leaders agree it is time to revisit whether and how the framework can better reflect current and future practice and how it can be used to create communities where people can achieve their best possible health. From anthrax and events like 9/11 to the emergence of new threats, and from chronic and communicable diseases to climate change, the world has changed, and public health practice has adapted to keep pace. And it is with that in mind that the de Beaumont Foundation and Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI) are working together to revisit and potentially revise the 10 Essential Public Health Services — not in isolation, but through an open and transparent process with the field. Now is your chance to provide feedback and reimagine what a framework might look like that would take us into the next 25 years and beyond.    

The Futures Initiative is aimed at bringing the Essential Services national framework in line with current and future public health practice. This effort will engage the public health community in activities to collect information and build consensus for an updated 10 EPHS framework that reflects current and future public health practice needs. To build off of past efforts and understand how practitioners are using the 10 Essential Services, PHNCI and the de Beaumont Foundation conducted an environmental scan that catalogs many of the stakeholders and uses of the 10 Essential Services. Most significantly, the 10 Essential Services were used to create accreditation and performance standards for public health agencies nationwide. About 13 states incorporated all 10 services into their public health laws and an additional 5 reference the 3 core functions. Finally, the 10 Essential Services has been used to support accreditation of public health schools and programs, not to mention educating generations of young public health students and professionals.                            10 Essential PH Services
The next step of the initiative is to develop a re-envisioned national framework, informed and supported by the field, that will meet the needs of the future. The 10 EPHS Futures Initiative will undertake activities to answer the questions:

  1. For whom is the framework intended?
  2. What is the purpose of the framework?
  3. What elements/definitions should the framework include?
  4. How should we update the framework to reflect current and future public health needs and practice?

PHNCI and the de Beaumont Foundation recognize the importance of working with the field on this initiative, and through the Futures Initiative, will engage with you through a variety of opportunities. Among them will be:                                  10 Essential PH Services

Live crowdsourcing events:

  • Virtual and in-person townhalls:
  • Think tank discussions,
  • Engagement with national partners and constituent organizations, and
  • An online questionnaire.

We need your help! Now is your chance to inform the field, and practice, of public health for years to come. Please take the time to share your thoughts by participating.

A finalized framework is expected to be launched during the Public Health Innovation Summit & Showcase in June 2020.                              10 Essential PH Services

Learn more at www.phnci.org


10 Essential PH Services

Jessica Solomon Fisher, MCP

Jessica Solomon Fisher, MCP, is the Chief Innovations Officer for the Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI) at the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). PHNCI is designed to foster alignment and innovation in public health. In that role, she leads the development and implementation of strategy and operations for the Center. Ms. Fisher also contributes to, and connects PHNCI with, aspects of PHAB’s work with the accreditation program.

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