Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing, and responding to infections diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Treating Causes, not Symptoms

Everyone knows that when you get sick, you go to the doctor. In today’s modern age, there are treatments for seemingly everything: from sore throats to joint problems to broken bones. We generally don’t think twice about why these treatments work, we’re just glad that they do. And when we get sick again, we happy to head right on back to get more diagnoses.

But why do we get sick in the first place?

Like all health organizations, the Vanderburgh County Health Department’s main goal is for all members of its community to be healthy. Unlike hospitals or doctor’s offices, however, our focus isn’t on the treatment of ailments, it’s on the prevention of them in the first place.

Washing your hands, getting vaccinated, even sneezing into your elbow… these are all habits that are in place due to efforts by public health agencies like our own. Cutting down on the spread of pathogens is a huge contributor to the prevention of disease. But actions like these are just scratching the surface when it comes to what our organization does.

At the VCHD, we know that health promotion is achieved in many ways. Prevention of illness, for starters, doesn’t just encompass the prevention of human-to-human spread of pathogens. We inspect food distributors to make sure illnesses like E. Coli or Salmonella aren’t spread; we test buildings for lead to ensure the health of our children; we cut down on the proliferation of things like mosquitoes to prevent the introduction of West Nile, among other ailments. It takes the cooperation of hundreds of community members to keep our community as healthy as possible.