Budget cuts and shortages in the public health workforce have contributed to the reduction of public health services in 91% of state health departments (SHDs). To adjust for these changes, health departments must discover novel ways to deliver essential public health services to their constituents. Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of the content published on SHDs’ Twitter pages to determine if online social networks were used to fulfill the ten essential public health services. While 42 SHDs had a Twitter page, the volume and content of tweets varied. Although tweets were posted that related to all ten of the essential public health services, nearly half of the tweets represented essential service three, which is to inform, educate, and empower people about health. SHDs can and should do more to use these resources to try to fulfill all ten of the essential public health services in order to deliver needed services to a community even when faced with a reduced budget and workforce.
Mason MD, Bezold MP. Online Social Networks to the Rescue: Fulfilling the Ten Essential Public Health Services. Front Public Health Serv Syst Res