The Washtenaw County Health Department's mission is to assure, in partnership with the community, the conditions necessary for people to live healthy lives through prevention and protection programs.
Public health as a discipline exists to prevent disease, promote health and prolong life among the population as a whole. The aim is to provide conditions in which people can be healthy. The focus is on entire populations, rather than on individuals. Public health is like a health care provider for the entire community. The goal is to prevent health problems before they occur.
Local health departments in Michigan are governmental entities with a legal responsibility to assure the public’s health (Michigan Public Health Code, Public Act 368 of 1978). No other entity assesses threats to the community from communicable and chronic diseases, poor access to health care or health promotion practices or failure to protect the environment.