Public Health

Public Health is the science and art of protecting and improving the health of communities. Public Health is a network of individuals working together to improve the lives and health of all citizens through healthy lifestyles, education, prevention and treatment of disease and research.


Public Health in North Carolina

The roles, and functions of public health in North Carolina are defined by sets of rules, laws, and goals. The purpose is to promote the highest level of health for the population. 

core functionsThe 3 core functions of Public Health are:

  1. Assessment
  2. Policy Development
  3. Assurance

Inside of each of these core functions are the 10 essential Public Health services. These services ensure the health of the population, not just an individual. 

For more information on Public Health functions and services, please visit the NC Division of Public Health.


The Graham County Health Department was established in 1936. On October 8, 2007, a new facility was opened at 21 South Main Street and the Health Department became the Graham County Department of Public Health. In April 2018, the Health Department consolidated physical locations with the Department of Social Services at 191 P And J Road. The building that now houses both entities is called the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services Building.


The primary goal of the Public Health Department is to provide preventive health programs, services and leadership which will encourage and promote personal, environmental, and community health. The staff is a multi-disciplinary team of professionals offering a variety of services.


The Public Health Department operates under the direction of the Graham County Board of Health and the Health Director. It is also affiliated with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, from which it receives technical assistance, guidance and financial support.


The financial budget is authorized by the Board of Health and approved by the Graham County Board of Commissioners and includes funding from Federal, State, Local, Private Fees and Grants. The budget is approved annually and has a fiscal year of July 1 to June 30.

Mission & Vision


The mission of the Graham County Department of Public Health is to provide compassionate, individualized quality health care by a caring, professional staff, specifically trained to meet the needs of all our citizens and to continually monitor, anticipate and respond to community health problems, with emphasis on health promotion, disease prevention and accessibility.


To be recognized leaders in Public Health, increasing equity and efficiency to build a healthy future for all people.

Social Determinants of Health


The Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) are factors that can contribute to a person's health. 

The CDC defines these as:
Individual behavior
Social environment
Physical environment
Access to care 

Healthy people 2020 defines the SDOH as "the conditions where people live, work, play, and worship." North Carolina has developed an interactive map to display by region and county the statistics related to the SDOH. You now have the resources to check on the health of your county, related to these determinants.

The SDOH have a tremendous impact on a person's health, without being directly related to health. More information on the SDOH can be found here