Public Health Services
Disease ControlPublic health provides for the protection of the general public through the detection, control, and eradication of diseases which are transmitted to people.
AIDS and HIV -- Offers anonymous or confidential testing for HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. Clients are provided information on prevention, the benefits of early treatment and referrals to care and other needed services. Medical care, pharmaceuticals, dental services, mental health counseling, case management and many other support services are provided to persons living with HIV disease through HIV care consortia, patient care networks and county health departments. Additional information about HIV/AIDS can be obtained through th Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline. This Hotline is available in English (1-800-FLA-AIDS), Spanish (1-800-545-SIDA), Creaole (1-800-AIDS-101) and TTY (1-888-503-7118).
IMMUNIZATIONS -- Provided to protect children from diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, varicella (chicken pox) and whooping cough (pertussis). Florida law now currently requires children entering a public or private school to be immunized against diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae type b (prekindergarten only), hepatitis B virus (kindergarten, seventh and eight grade), measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella and tetanus. In addition, children attending a child care facility are required to be immunized against diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae type b, measles, mumps, rubella and tetanus. Immunization against varicella (chicken pox) is recommended for children following their first birthday unless they have had the disease.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES -- Testing and treatment is provided to protect sex partners and unborn children from the serious effects that may result from untreated syphilis, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases. Services and in formation are confidential.
EPIDEMIOLOGY -- Staff monitor disease trends to prevent epidemics and/or control outbreaks that can threaten the entire community. Special reports and studies are used in planning of health education and treatment programs.
TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL -- Testing and treatment services help prevent the spread of this serious lung disease. This includes skin tests and chest X-rays.
CHRONIC DISEASE -- Programs seek to reduce the morbidity and mortality resulting from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer. The program intervenes to reduce risk factors through educ ation, early detection, treatment, referral and follow-up.
HEALTH PROMOTION -- Staff provide counseling, education and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. Smoking, substance abuse, lack of exercise, poor eating habits, and stress all can be harmful to an individual's health. Programs are presented to schools and organizations.
Primary Care and Personal Health ServicesPublic health units provide preventive and primary care to persons who are unable to obtain care due to lack of income or other barriers beyond their control. Care is provided to benefit individuals, improve the collective health of the public, and pr event and control the spread of disease.
ADULT HEALTH CARE -- Counties make available a range of basic medical care services and treatments. Clinic services ensure access to essential health care and decrease unnecessary emergency room visits.
HEALTHY START -- The program provides universal risk screening for all pregnant women and infants to identify those at risk for poor health and developmental outcomes such as low birth weight. Healthy Start services include care coordination to assure access to needed services as well as the provision of services such as childbirth education and smoking cessation
CHILD HEALTH -- Health units provide periodic physical examinations
for infants and children who are about to enter school or pre-school.
Hearing and vision tests are administered in kindergarten and first grade.
HOME HEALTH SERVICES -- Some county public health units provide
care for people who need nursing care or treatment in their homes if they
are eligible for Medicare or another assistance program.
Primary Care and Personal Health Services
Public health protects the health of the population by
monitoring and regulating activities which may contribute to the
occurrence or transmission of disease.
WATER SUPPLIES -- Public health regulates private and certain public water supplies and provides advice on well location and maintenance.
WASTE DISPOSAL -- Programs ensure that septic tanks and other on-site sewage disposal systems are properly planned, installed and operated to prevent the spread of disease.
OTHER INSPECTIONS -- Counties inspect nursing homes, day care centers, schools, mobile home and recreational vehicle parks, swimming pools and bathing places, and other public and private group care facilities to ensure that the facilities are safe and sanitary. Staff also investigate and resolve complaints about sanitary nuisances.
ANIMAL BITES -- Public health staff investigate animal bite reports.
RADIATION CONTROL -- The program monitors radiation sources, certifies x-ray machines and operators, and inspects shipments of radioactive materials. Counties also inspect homes for radon, test water for radioactive contamination, and provide emergency response teams.
TOXICOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EPIDEMIOLOGY -- Staff assess the
effect of exposure to contaminants on humans. They monitor and investigate
unusual occurrences of environmentally related disease to intervene
against its spread.
VITAL RECORDS -- The program maintains copies of all birth, death, marriage, and divorce records, providing copies as needed.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES -- The program licenses emergency medical technicians and services, assists in upgrading of EMS systems, and monitors hospital trauma centers.
PHARMACY -- Staff safeguard the public by inspecting and licensing the manufacturing, repackaging, and wholesaling of drugs and drug products and banning merchandising of deceptive drugs and devices.
LABORATORY -- Public health laboratories provide diagnostic, environmental, reference, emergency, and research laboratory services to county health units, other state agencies, and private health care providers.