Introduction to Public Health in North Carolina



This online module was developed as a component of a new- or recently-hired employee orientation for health departments.  It is intended to familiarize health department employees with the practice of public health in NC and the issues with which public health is concerned. The module also introduces health department employees to the important role and responsibilities they have in providing public health services in their communities.  Also covered are the sources of law that pertain to public health, the organization and scope of the public health infrastructure, and the challenges facing public health in NC and beyond.The module will take 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.

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The module contains the following sections:

  • Section 1 – What is Public Health?
  • Section 2 – Core Functions and Ten Essential Services of Public Health
  • Section 3 – Legal Responsibility and Authority
  • Section 4 – Mission and Essential Public Health Services in NC
  • Section 5 – Public Health Infrastructure in NC
  • Section 6 – NC Public Health Initiatives
  • Section 7 – Public Health in the Context of the Broader Health Care Delivery System

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The module addresses the following public health competencies (as identified by the Council on Linkages-Core Competencies List) at the “awareness” level:

  • Describes the role of government in the delivery of community health services
  • Identifies the individual’s and organization’s responsibilities within the context of the Essential Public Health Services and core functions
  • Defines, assesses, and understands the health status of populations, determinants of health and illness, factors contributing to health promotion and disease prevention, and factors influencing the use of health services
  • Understands the historical development, structure, and interaction of public health and health care systems
  • Identifies, interprets, and implements public health laws, regulations, and policies related to specific programs

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Specific objectives are provided at the beginning of each section.

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Southeast Public Health Training Center, North Carolina Institute for Public Health

Southern Piedmont NC Partnership for Public Health

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System Requirements

In order to successfully complete the module, the computer equipment you use should meet the following minimum hardware and software requirements:

  • 266 MHz Intel Pentium III processor or better
  • 128 MB or more of RAM
  • 200 MB free on the hard disk
  • 16-bit or better sound card and speakers
  • 15-inch color monitor or larger
  • 65,000-color or better video display card
  • Windows XP or 2000
  • Netscape Navigator 7.0 or later OR Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
  • Adobe Reader 7.0 or later (free)
  • Adobe Flash Player 9.0 or later (free)
  • RealPlayer 10 (free)
  • 56.6 K modem or LAN connection to the Internet

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Online Skills Test

To make sure you have the minimum system requirements for completing the module, complete the online skills test.

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Click here to register now.  Once you register you will receive information on how to access the module within one week.

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There is no cost for completing the module.

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Continuing Education Credits

Currently, there is no credit being offered for completion of the module. However, there is a certificate for completing the module. Instructions on how to receive a certificate are available within the module.

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If you have questions about the course, please contact Rachel Wilfert,


Technical Support

If you need technical support while completing the module, email the Office of Continuing Education (OCE) tech support staff at Technical support is available Mondays-Fridays, 8:30-5:00 pm, except holidays.

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