Public health workers serve as liaisons between health services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. They also build individual and community health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.
Public health professionals work in all geographic settings, including rural, urban and metropolitan areas; however, they are most often found working in underprivileged marginalized communities where people may have limited resources; lack access to quality health care; lack the means to pay for health care; do not speak English fluently; or have cultural beliefs, values and behaviors different from those of the dominant Western health care system. In these communities, public health workers play an integral role in helping systems become more culturally appropriate and relevant to the people the systems serve.
A masters degree in public health or community health is recommended to have more employment opportunities.
Consider the U of I Community Health Education & Promotion degree emphasis with the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.