From anthrax and events like 9/11 to the emergence of new threats, and from chronic and communicable diseases to climate change, the world has changed, and public health practice has adapted to keep pace. What does this mean for the 10 Essential Public Health Services framework? How should it be refreshed to reflect changes in current and future public health practice? Now’s your chance to let us know!

PHNCI is partnering with the de Beaumont Foundation to review and revise the 10 Essential Public Health Services. The Futures Initiative is aimed at bringing the Essential Services national framework in line with current and future public health practice. This new effort will engage the public health community in activities to collect information and build consensus for an updated 10 EPHS framework that reflects current and future public health practice needs. We’ve started to collect data for this project and expect to launch a finalized framework during the PHNCI Innovation Summit & Showcase in June 2020.


The 10 Essential Public Health Services framework was developed in 1994 by a federal working group. It serves as the description of the activities that local public health systems should undertake in all communities. Organized around the three core functions of public health – assessment, policy development, and assurance – the colorful, circular framework is a familiar graphic in the public health field. Health departments and community partners around the nation organize their work around the Essential Public Health Services framework, schools and programs of public health teach it, and the framework informs descriptions and definitions of practice. The framework is also used as the basis of the PHAB Domains.

The framework has provided a roadmap of goals for carrying out the mission of public health in communities around the nation. However, the public health landscape has shifted dramatically over the past 25 years, and many public health leaders agree it is time to revisit whether and how the framework can better reflect current and future practice and how it can be used to create communities where people can achieve their best possible health.

Building upon 25 years of 10 EPHS implementation by the field, the initiative will assess the current state of the framework and inform its future. The goal is to develop a national framework, informed and supported by the field, that will meet the needs of the future. This initiative is guided by a task force made up of public health leaders.

The 10 EPHS Futures Initiative will undertake activities to answer the questions:

  1. For whom is the framework is intended?
  2. What is the purpose of the framework?
  3. What elements/definitions should the framework include?
  4. How should we update the framework to reflect current and future public health needs and practice?

To build off of past efforts and understand how practitioners are using the 10 Essential Services, we conducted an environmental scan that catalogs many of the stakeholders and uses of the 10 Essential Services. Most significantly, the 10 Essential Services were used to create accreditation and performance standards for public health agencies nationwide. About 13 states incorporated all 10 services into their public health laws and an additional 5 reference the 3 core functions. Finally, the 10 Essential Services has been used to support accreditation of public health schools and programs, not to mention educating generations of young public health students and professionals.

PHNCI and the de Beaumont Foundation recognize the importance of working with the field on this initiative, and through the Futures Initiative, will engage with you through a variety of opportunities. Live crowdsourcing events;

Stay tuned for more information soon!