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Fact Sheets

An effective communicator uses the same facts but frames each messages differently depending on who the target audience is. Use these fact sheets as is—or mix and match language from the different fact sheets—to describe the role of a local health department when communicating with policymakers, community groups, the media, and the general public, as appropriate.

Fact Sheet - General Public

This fact sheet provides a general overview of the functions of a local health department. The messages convey a sense of the vitality and versatility of local health departments and how powerfully local health departments relates to people's lives. Most of the “Ten Essential Services” from the Operational Definition are referenced. This fact sheet was focus group-tested with the general public.  This sample includes an example from Marquette County, Michigan and illustrates how a local health department serves that particular community. Use this sample as a guide to create your own examples. Download »

Fact Sheet - Technical

This fact sheet offers the most specific definition of the role of local public health and provides a fairly comprehensive illustration of the diverse functions a local health department performs. It is also most closely aligned with the Ten Essential Public Health Services from the Operational Definition. This fact sheet was survey-tested with a group of individuals representing various facets of governmental public health, such as LHDs, state health agencies, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Download »

Fact Sheet - Policymakers

This fact sheet uses short phrases and specific examples to provide an overview of local public health to policymakers. The messages are focused on results and outcomes. They positions local health departments as a worthwhile investment both for the services it provides and for their expertise and advice. The fact sheet was survey-tested among a group of policymakers. Download »

How to Use Fact Sheets

When talking with policymakers, community groups, the media, and the general public about local public health, there are a few important things to remember:

  • Speak in plain English and avoid jargon, also known as “public health speak”
  • Focus on outcomes, not process
  • Use stories and examples to illustrate your point

When talking to policymakers, community groups, the media, and the general public, there are a few important things to do:

  • Incorporate a fact sheet into presentations to town councils, legislative committees, community forums, classes or seminars and other groups
  • Post a fact sheet on Web sites and at front desks or bulletin boards in schools, clinics, hospitals, etc.
  • Distribute a fact sheet at local fairs, conferences, community meetings, Board of Health meetings, etc.
  • Use a fact sheet to help educate and orient Board of Health members, employees, community partners and students
  • Provide a fact sheet to local policymakers and media as an accompaniment to an interview, a component of a media kit, an attachment to written testimony, or part of a response to a request for information.

Operational Definition

The Operational Definition project is the source for the information contained in the fact sheets.  The Operational Definition provides clear and concise ways to define local public health to a variety of audiences. While the fact sheets generally describe what local public health does, the Operational Definition describes what each person can reasonably expect its local health department to provide.