What is Population Health?


CDC views population health as an interdisciplinary, customizable approach that allows health departments to connect practice to policy for change to happen locally. This approach utilizes non-traditional partnerships among different sectors of the community – public health, industry, academia, health care, local government entities, etc. – to achieve positive health outcomes. Population health “brings significant health concerns into focus and addresses ways that resources can be allocated to overcome the problems that drive poor health conditions in the populationExternal.”

Two examples of strategies developed by CDC to address population health are:

How is Population Health Different from Public Health?

Public health works to protect and improve the health of communities through policy recommendations, health education and outreach, and research for disease detection and injury prevention. It can be defined as what “we as a society do collectively to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy” (Institute of Medicine, 1988). On the other hand, population health provides “an opportunity for health care systems, agencies and organizations to work together in order to improve the health outcomes of the communities they serve.External