Public Health Fields and Specialties

Public Health Fields and Specialties

Public health can be defined as the research and demonstration that promotes and prevents diseases, extends life and improves health. Public health encompasses all public and private entities, communities, individuals, as well as society in general. Public health jobs are generally multidisciplinary teams of health professionals working together to improve the quality and health of people. There are four main areas of expertise in this field: environmental health, community and global health, epidemiology and health policy management.

Environmental Health

The study of environmental health is a subject in public health that examines the effects of natural and man-made environment on human health. This could include the natural environment like soil, air and water as well as the biological, chemical and social aspects of the environment.

Environmental health specialists analyze and study environmental factors that could impact human health. They develop, promote, and enforce environmentally-related guidelines, policies, laws, and regulations in order to create and sustain healthy living environments for people. One aspect of public health can be addressed by environmental health specialists: air pollution, sustainable development and chemical safety and impacts, climate change and climate change.

Community Health

They provide education and facilitate services that improve health and quality of life for the communities they serve. They engage the community in outreach programs to improve access to health care and education. They collect data from the community and advocate for community health needs using an expert public health perspective.

Public health workers can work in schools, nonprofits, government departments, hospitals, schools, and private companies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, community health workers’ jobs will increase by 17% between 2020 and 2030. This is more than the average growth rate for all occupations.


Epidemiologists study the causes and patterns of injuries and diseases in a population or group of people. This is done to decrease the likelihood of adverse health outcomes through research, community education and advocacy for health policy.

An epidemiologist may use interviews, observations, or surveys to collect data and analyze the results. To find the causes of health problems, they may take blood samples or other fluid samples. Similar to those working in public health systems and institutions, epidemiologists also report their findings to policymakers, the public and health professionals to help manage public health initiatives.

Global Health

The National Institutes of Health defines global health as “study, research, practice, and policy that expands the scope of public healthcare into a global perspective for all people.” Global health is performed by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme, World Bank and UNICEF. Many global health workers are employed either by non-profit organizations or government agencies.

Health Policy

Public health policy is one the most important areas. This area encompasses careers such as public health researcher, health policy analyst, or health services manager. Public health policy professionals can play roles in advocating and researching the field. They can act as liaisons between government agencies and public health professionals.


The B.S. degree program at Rivier University is called the B.S. The Master of Public Health degree and the B.S. in Public Health degree from Rivier University equip students with the skills and knowledge to excel in various areas of public health. These degrees are offered online in an easy-to-use, flexible format that can be adapted to students’ personal and work schedules.

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