(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Health be responsible for the state’s public health system which shall be designed to promote, protect, and improve the health of all people in the state. The mission of the state’s public health system is to foster the conditions in which people can be healthy, by assessing state and community health needs and priorities through data collection, epidemiologic studies, and community participation; by developing comprehensive public health policies and objectives aimed at improving the health status of people in the state; and by ensuring essential health care and an environment which enhances the health of the individual and the community. The Legislature recognizes that the state’s public health system must be founded on an active partnership between federal, state, and local government and between the public and private sectors, and, therefore, assessment, policy development, and service provision must be shared by all of these entities to achieve its mission.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department, in carrying out the mission of public health, focus attention on identifying, assessing, and controlling the presence and spread of communicable diseases; on monitoring and regulating factors in the environment which may impair the public’s health, with particular attention to preventing contamination of drinking water, the air people breathe, and the food people consume; and ensuring availability of and access to preventive and primary health care, including, but not limited to, acute and episodic care, prenatal and postpartum care, child health, family planning, school health, chronic disease prevention, child and adult immunization, dental health, nutrition, and health education and promotion services.
(3) It is, furthermore, the intent of the Legislature that the public health system include comprehensive planning, data collection, technical support, and health resource development functions. These functions include, but are not limited to, state laboratory and pharmacy services, the state vital statistics system, the Florida Center for Health Information and Policy Analysis, emergency medical services coordination and support, and recruitment, retention, and development of preventive and primary health care professionals and managers.
(4) It is, furthermore, the intent of the Legislature that the department provide public health services through the 67 county health departments in partnership with county governments, as specified in part I of chapter 154, and in so doing make every attempt possible to solicit the support and involvement of private and not-for-profit health care agencies in fulfilling the public health mission.