National Public Health Week

This week is National Public Health Week!

For over 20 years, the American Public Health Association (APHA) has declared the first full week of April to be National Public Health Week. Each year, the Association develops a national campaign to educate the public, policymakers, and practitioners about issues related to each year’s theme[1].

Everyone deserves to live a long and healthy life in a safe environment. This year the APHA’s campaign focuses on the causes of poor health and disease risk among individuals and within a community. The National Public Health Week’s campaign breaks down these causes and addresses how we can use science and calls for action from policymakers to make community-wide improvements.

Caring Communities serves multiple areas that are affected by many of these issues, and because of this we support public health initiatives that highlight these issues and work toward a better and healthier future for all.

The daily themes for this week are listed below:

Monday: Healthy Communities

People’s health and well-being are connected to their communities. It is important to work across sectors and outside of traditional public health circles to expand health-promoting opportunities. For example, employers can work with local medical providers to organize flu shot clinics[2]. Read more about Healthy Communities here.

Tuesday: Violence Protection

Violence takes many forms. It can be gun-related, intimate-partner violence, or child abuse. The APHA encourages us to advocate for community-driven solutions that identify and target the root of violence and don’t criminalize entire communities[3]. Read more about Violence prevention here.

Wednesday: Rural Health

Rural communities face many hurdles when it comes to healthcare. There is limited access to primary care and prevention services and less reliable transportation. The APHA pushes for communities to support telemedicine, school-based health centers, and other efforts that connect rural residents to medical and support services[4]. Read more about Rural Health here.

Thursday: Technology and Public Health

New technologies are quickly transforming the public health landscape. Programs utilizing spatial analysis and visualization methods are helping to predict people’s hazardous exposure risks. Across the nation public health labs are using state-of-the-art technology to rapidly detect, trace, and contain disease outbreaks[5]. Read more about Technology and Public Health here.

Friday: Climate Change

Climate change is currently one of the greatest threats to public health. Climate change is linked to more frequent and extreme natural disasters (such as hurricanes, flooding and droughts) and is expected to negatively impact food security, water, and air quality. It is also expected to disproportionately impact already-vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, young children, and families living in poverty[6]. Read more about Climate Change here.

Saturday & Sunday: Global Health

The United States’ health and the world’s health are fundamentally connected. Cases like the H1N1 flu pandemic showed how quickly viruses can travel around the world. Instances like this require a global effort to track movements and contain disease. The U.S. invests in other countries to help them scale up their emergency and medical countermeasure capacities, meaning the world is better prepared to stop outbreaks before they spread[7]. Read more about Global Health here.