The Public Health in the Americas Initiative was launched in 2002 to create a common concept of public health and its essential functions in the Americas.

The Initiative established the basis for achieving a regional commitment to strengthening public health in the Americas. This included developing a methodology to measure the performance of the EPHF, and offering support for the self-assessment of each country's public health status.

After the 42nd session of the Governing Council in September 2000, where resolution CD42.R14 was adopted, PAHO/WHO member countries were called upon to participate in regional EPHF performance measurement exercises and use these results to improve the infrastructure and practice of public health. 

As a result, PAHO/WHO published the book Public Health in the Americas: Conceptual Renewal, Performance Assessment, and Bases for Action in September of 2002. This publication compiled the results of the EPHF assessments conducted in 41 countries and territories of the Americas. It also included strategic recommendations for improving public health infrastructure and proposals for establishing a regional program to improve the exercise of public health in the Americas. pdf [PDF - Publication]