“Health” is a state of physical and mental well-being that largely reflects diet, exercise, safety and environmental factors as well as genetic luck. “Health care” encompasses the private and public infrastructure required to diagnose and treat illness, while “public health” departments emphasize prevention and community interventions. Massachusetts Department of Public Health coordinates and oversees state policy and a variety of statewide and focused initiatives. The Boston Public Health Commission, descendant of the nation’s first public health department, provides a variety of community-based initiatives. Boston’s health care system includes 3 major nonprofit insurers, 22 in-patient hospitals, of which 14 are teaching hospitals, 3 medical schools, 25 community health centers, many of which offer specific cultural and linguistic competence. The sector also includes implementation of Massachusetts’ health reform legislation, quality and fiscal assessment oversight, the federal Medicaid and Medicare programs, and academic experts and advocacy organizations. Boston’s Longwood Medical area alone concentrates 37,000 employees and 15,000 students. Boston and Cambridge are the center of a life sciences “super cluster” anchored in teaching hospitals, independent institutions and private sector companies - the nation’s largest, according to the Milken Institute. A major part of Greater Boston’s economy – as well as business, municipal and family budgets – the health care sector grew during the recession as public health budgets were cut.