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Community Health

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In 1948 the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". This is what is commonly referred to as the triangle of health. As a result of WHO's definition, many nations redefined their perception of health from that which is only related to an individuals physical condition to one which recognized all of the social and environmental determinants that influence health.

Community health, is a field of public health concerned with the study and betterment of the health characteristics of communities. The health characteristics of a community are often examined using a variety of research tools including epidemiological and social science methodologies and datasets. It has been suggested by some scholars that the term "community health" and "population health" can be used interchageably. Population health is concerned with the health outcomes of groups of individuals as well as the way in which the outcomes are distributed within groups. As a whole, community or population health aims to improve the of entire populations by addressing issues such as: family planning, health inequities or health disparities, environment, social structure and resource distribution.

The Office of Community Health empowers Orange County residents to take action to improve their health through education, health promotion, public health advocacy and research.