As defined in the 2008 Public Health Improvement Act, “public health” means the prevention of injury, disease, and premature mortality; the promotion of health in the community; and the response to public and environmental health needs and emergencies, and is accomplished through the provision of 10 Essential Public Health Services. The scope of public health is broad.

After interacting with the content, participants will be able to:


  • Summarize the history of the Colorado State Board of Health and identify major roles and responsibilities.
  • Discuss the historical development of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment with it's unique structure.
  • Distinguish the two different structures for the local boards of heath.
  • Discuss the roles and responsibilities that local public health agencies play in the Colorado public health system.
  • Identify 2 major events that have lead to today's public health laws.
  • Describe how public health professional organizations and partners support and enhance Colorado's public health system.

Established in 1877 by act of Colorado’s First General Assembly, Colorado's Boards of Health have a number of responsibilities to fulfill in Colorado's public health system. This video gives you a brief overview of the history of Colorado's boards of health and how members are appointed to the board. To read about the duties the State Board of Health performs, click on the resource below.

Formally established in the 1940s, Colorado's Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) combines both public health and environmental health in one state agency, which is uncommon throughout the United States. This video gives you an overview of the history of CDPHE and the role it plays in bettering the health of Coloradoans.

Click each tab below to expand and read more about Colorado's local boards of health.

This video discusses how Colorado's Local Public Health Departments grew to its current structure with heavy assistance from nursing programs.


In this video, we briefly describe the history of public health laws in Colorado, summarizing the two major events that gave structure to our public health system today: the passage of the Sabin Laws and the Public Health Act of 2008.

The public health organizations in Colorado have had an interesting history of their own. These professional associations provide education, advocacy and professional development to strengthen the public health system and workforce.


Click each tab below to expand and read more about Colorado's public health organizations and partners.

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