During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week (NPHW) as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. This year, NPHW is April 4-10 and the theme is “Healthiest Nation 2030.”
Today, Americans are living 20 years longer than their grandparents’ generations, yet more work is needed to promote optimal conditions that will give everyone the opportunity to be healthy in 2030 and beyond. NPHW 2016 highlights the need to build safe, healthy communities with a foundation of social justice for all, in addition to providing access to quality healthcare. This week also emphasizes factors beyond traditional health, such as how at least a high school education allows people to have increased opportunities to earn a livable wage and have improved access to safe, healthy food. In addition, protecting our work, school, and home environments has a profound impact on our health. Together, these conditions set the stage for a healthier nation in just 14 years, if we work to prioritize them.
NACCHO is proud to be a supporting partner of NPHW and joins our members in promoting the importance of public health this week and throughout the year. Local health departments across the country have a variety of events planned for NPHW that will lay the foundation for a healthier nation in 2030. A snapshot of their activities includes the following:
- San Diego County (CA) Health and Human Services Agency will present the Live Well San Diego 2016 Public Health Champion Award, the County’s annual signature event for NPHW. These awards recognize extraordinary achievements by an individual and organization in areas of public health services that protect and promote the health of San Diego County residents. The awards were created to recognize the role of public/private collaboration in advancing optimal health and wellness throughout the County’s diverse populations and will recognize achievements related to the NPHW 2016 theme. Learn more about the mission of Live Well San Diego in its newly released partners report.
- Arlington County (VA) Public Health will celebrate NPHW by promoting its services to community residents, visitors, and businesses. Public health workforce and volunteers will be wearing t-shirts that say, “Ask me about Public Health!” and will be stationed at several public transit stops and at a Home Show and Garden Expo to talk about how their daily work promotes and protects the health of those who live, learn, work, and play in Arlington.
- The West Springfield (MA) Health Department is sponsoring Healthy Dining Week April 4-10 and National Walking Day on April 6 during NPHW. The Healthy Dining Week is an initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services’ Mass In Motion “Eat Better and Move More” campaign and will be supported by volunteers from the West Springfield Medical Reserve Corps. Restaurants in West Springfield will offer the option of half portion sizes for the meals already lower in calories and fat, as well as emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. The campaign inspires residents to buy, shop, and eat locally and encourages restaurants to promote their healthy options for people going out to eat.
- The Mid-Ohio Valley (WV) Health Department will have a table set up with health education information and staffed by volunteers from the Mid-Ohio Valley Medical Reserve Corps. The volunteers will be near the health department’s clinic to reach WIC clients and other patients to raise awareness about NPHW.
- The Fairfax County (VA) Board of Supervisors recognized NPHW with a proclamation. The Fairfax County Health Department is also sharing NPHW messages on its website and on social media and is promoting the Live Healthy Fairfax initiative to improve public health and well-being through collaborative efforts.
What is your local health department doing to mark NPHW? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at @NACCHOalerts. For additional resources to promote NPHW in your community, visit http://www.nphw.org/ and view http://www.nphw.org/events/calendar to see what other organizations have planned for NPHW.
By Alyson Jordan, Marketing & Communications Specialist, NACCHO