This paper' focuses on the overall structure and function of the county health department. The county or local health departrnent is part of a much larger public health system consisting of state, national, and international agencies. Public health has progressed from a crisis management type of organization to a virtually all-encompassing system designed to meet the health care needs of the population as a whole. Vision care is becoming an increasingly vital component of the public health system, and as such, the organizational structure of most health departments must be examined and changed in order to meet the vision care needs of the population. This paper examines the Multnomah County Health Department's vision care program and makes recornmendations for its continued successful operation.
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