Lend Your Voice to the Future of Public Health: Proposed Revisions to the 10 Essential Public Health Services are Available for Public Review and Comment
by Jessica Solomon Fisher, MCP
On Monday, March 2, 2020, the Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI) and the de Beaumont Foundation released for public review and comment the proposed revisions to the 10 Essential Public Health Services (EPHS) framework. The comment period runs through 11:59 PM EDT on April 2, 2020. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to inform the practice of public health for years to come. Use this survey link to submit your comments on as many Essential Services as you would like and provide general comments on the framework, which was developed with guidance from a Task Force of public health subject experts and input from more than 1,350 stakeholders (view FAQs here). The 10 EPHS framework is for public health writ large, and not focused on governmental public health alone. It describes the system of entities that conduct public health work. We have decided not to provide a side-by-side comparison between the new framework and the original version. This is done to ensure that the new framework will be assessed on its own, thus enabling us to capture comments on the new framework as a stand-alone framework. As you read the proposed revisions, please review and comment with this context in mind. Comments will be accepted through the survey only. No comments will be accepted via e-mail, fax, letter, or other format.
PHNCI and the de Beaumont Foundation are partnering to lead the Futures Initiative, which aims to bring the 10 EPHS in line with current and future public health practice. The proposed revisions are the result of a variety of efforts leading up to this point. Data were collected from April-November 2019, through an online survey, townhalls and numerous crowdsourcing events. The data were subsequently analyzed and presented to the Task Force to inform their discussion and recommendations for revisions. The majority of respondents to the data collection efforts suggested either making “minor revisions to the existing framework” (50%) or “major revisions to the existing framework” (35%). The Task Force, using Guiding Principles, deliberated and provided recommendations on what changes were needed to the framework.
Using the data and Task Force recommendations, revisions were made. The resulting proposed 10 EPHS framework looks similar to the original but does have some noteworthy differences. For example:
- The need to add equity was a clear theme from data collection efforts. In line with Task Force recommendations, equity concepts were embedded in the proposed framework, both in the introductory statement and definition, and in the contents of the services.
- Language throughout the 10 EPHS was assessed, updated, and modernized as needed. Concepts that were not prevalent in public health practice in 1994 were added, such as informatics and data sharing. There is an increased emphasis on cross-sector partnerships and community engagement embedded throughout the new version, and the role of public health and healthcare was clarified.
- EPHS #10 is new and focuses on organizational infrastructure – pulling in the “system management” elements from the previous version. The original EPHS #10 contents were moved and/or amplified in the other Essential Services (eg research is now in EPHS #9).
Based on feedback received during the public vetting period and with further input from the Task Force and communications experts, a finalized framework is expected to be launched during the Public Health Innovation Summit & Showcase in June 2020. For those unable to attend in-person, the 10 EPHS launch will be livestreamed for free. After its launch, the framework will be disseminated broadly for adoption in the field.
Visit PHNCI’s webpage on the 10 EPHS for more information on the Futures Initiative, including FAQs for the public vetting process, an environmental scan, progress to date, a fact sheet and data summary, a list of the Task Force members, Task Force January meeting summary and recommendations, and more.
The original 10 EPHS framework was developed in 1994 by a federal working group and serves as the description of the activities that local public health systems should undertake in all communities. Over the years, the framework has provided a roadmap of goals for carrying out the mission of public health in communities around the nation. However, the public health landscape has shifted dramatically over the past 25 years. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to advise an updated framework that reflects current and emerging public health practice needs and can be used to create communities where people can achieve their best possible health.
For questions, please contact PHNCI Chief Innovations Officer Jessica Solomon Fisher.
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.