This report provides an overview of the issues surrounding public health in Texas. Essential or "core" public health services are defined from national and state organization perspectives. These services are those that affect the health of total populations and should be provided by governmental entities. The infrastructure to provide these "core" public health functions in Texas has deteriorated to a great extent in recent years due to a number of factors enumerated within this report. The purpose of this paper is to provide history and background information for understanding the challenges facing the public health community and to offer some concrete recommendations and conclusions regarding methods to "rebuild" this infrastructure to protect and preserve the health of all Texans.