National and Global Health Systems

In an article published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2003, Kindig and Stoddard defined population health as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group.”[1] Population health aims to improve the health status of entire human populations, and includes efforts by organizations and institutions at the local, state, federal, national, and global levels to measure the distribution of outcomes and link them to health policies and interventions. More information can be found in that article [READ this linked article by Kindig and Stoddard].

Many organizations involved in public health in the US support the overall goals of population health and fill important roles such as surveillance, national registries, health surveys, and collection of administrative data that can help decision-makers form effective policy. For an overview of how organizations in the US Public Health system provide core functions and essential services, please see the powerpoint at [READ this linked presentation – US Public Health 101]. For a description of the different US government agencies involved in supporting public and population, please see the brief descriptions posted by the US Public Health Service, describing agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services ( and those in other departments of the federal government (

Internationally, the United States has an important impact on global health. For descriptions of the main institutions and agencies that have responsibilities and roles in international efforts to promote global health, see