Public health is the organized societal effort to protect and improve the health of communities. Public health focuses on the health of the entire population rather than on the health of individuals. The protection of population health is a key governmental responsibility at the federal, state, and local levels. Traditional activities include collecting information on the population, making rules to restrict individual activities that threaten the health of the community, and providing health services and educating people in healthy behaviors that promote health. While health services and education can be provided by private sector organizations, only governmental authorities are authorized to collect official data and to create and enforce rules to restrict individual and corporate behaviors to protect and improve health. Governments also ensure ...

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