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How the U.S. Public Health System and Community Health Workers Make a Difference

Find out how you can earn a Master of Public Health online and gain the skills you need for today’s jobs in public health.

Public health programs around the country address a wide range of health issues at the federal, state, and local levels. While we may not see the community health workers who often work behind the scenes to collect data and help create the important policies that keep us safe and healthy, public health professionals are busy every day doing work that saves lives. Learn about some of the things you may not know about the American public health system, and find out how you can earn your master’s in public health degree and pursue a rewarding career in public health.

Public Health Programs at Work in the U.S.

Founded in 1946, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading public health agency in the United States, tasked with protecting health security of the country. Headquartered in Atlanta, the CDC had a $7.2 billion budget in 2017 and has more than 12,000 employees in nearly 150 community health-related occupations.1

How the U.S. Public Health System and Community Health Workers Make a Difference

Following the lead of the CDC, U.S. public health programs target myriad aspects of public health. Here are some facts about the U.S. public health system:

  • The CDC conducted more than 750 field investigations in 49 states, five U.S. territories, and in at least 35 different countries in 2015 and 2016 to determine why people became sick and if others were exposed.1
  • The CDC connects with public health professionals in state and local health departments across the U.S. to discover patterns of disease and respond as needed. This includes monitoring health, informing decisionmakers, and providing people with information so they can take responsibility for their own health.
  • Established in 1995, the CDC’s Emerging Infections Programs (EIP) has prevented and controlled infectious disease outbreaks by providing the highest quality scientific information to monitor emergency problems, evaluate public health interventions, and inform policy.2
  • When disease outbreaks occur in other countries–such as the recent Zika and Ebola virus outbreaks–the CDC activates its Emergency Operations Center to respond and provide the public with health education.
  • States, cities, and towns have their own health departments staffed with community health workers who respond to outbreaks and other health situations on a local level, while coordinating response across cities and states as needed.
  • Many professionals with jobs in public health are working to educate the public on vaccines and keep vaccination rates high in the U.S., helping to boost community immunity for vaccine-preventable diseases.

Make a Difference with an MPH Degree

If you’re ready to make a positive impact on the public health system, you can gain the skills and education you need with Walden University’s online Master of Public Health (MPH) program.

Not all MPH programs are created equal. As a student in Walden’s master of public health degree program you can learn how to address public health issues such as infectious diseases and health disparities, all with the flexibility of online learning. Walden’s curriculum is designed to prepare you to help promote healthy communities.

Once you have your Master of Public Health degree, you’ll be prepared to pursue an exciting and rewarding career as a community health worker. Don’t put off your chance to make a difference. Find out how you can earn your MPH degree and get on your way.

Walden University is an accredited online institution offering a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,