The Department of Public Health is the state's leader in public health policy and advocacy. The agency is the center of a comprehensive network of public health services, and is a partner to local health departments for which it provides advocacy, training and certification, technical assistance and consultation, and specialty services such as risk assessment that are not available at the local level. The agency is a source of accurate, up-to-date health information to the Governor, the Legislature, the federal government and local communities; this information is used to monitor the health status of Connecticut's citizens, set health priorities and evaluate the effectiveness of health initiatives. The agency is a regulator focused on health outcomes, maintaining a sensible balance between assuring quality and administrative burden on the personnel, facilities, and programs regulated. The agency is a leader on the national scene through direct input to federal agencies and the United States Congress.