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National Public Health Week

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National Public Health Week

Monday marked the first day of National Public Health Week!

The goal of this week is to ultimately remind people that if we work together we can build healthier communities. We can foster change! 

Each day this week has a theme, organized by the American Public Health Association. Here's a breakdown of those themes:


Monday: Healthy Communities

According to the American Public Health Association (APHA), people's health and well-being are connected to the places we live, learn, work, worship, and play. For instance, air pollution is linked to serious respiratory conditions like asthma. Communities of color often face greater health risks - such as poorer air quality - and have fewer health-promoting opportunities - such as safe places to walk - than their white counterparts. 

What can we do? We can urge decision makers to make health a priority in all policymaking. Apply a health equity lens to ensure your efforts reach those most in need! We can also work together to improve the quality of the air we breathe. 


Tuesday: Violence Prevention

According to the APHA, between 2015-2016, the U.S. was home to nearly 27,000 homicides and nearly 45,000 suicides involving guns. One in four women and one in nine men experience some form of intimate partner violence, and one out of every six American women has been the victim of rape or attempted rape.

What can we do? Call on lawmakers to pass common-sense measures that reduce the risk of gun deaths and injuries. Work with local colleges and universities on ways to prevent sexual violence. Learn about community-based strategies for creating the kinds of safe, stable and nurturing environments that help prevent child abuse and neglect. 


Wednesday: Rural Health

When compared to people living in urban areas, rural Americans face a greater risk of death from the five leading causes of death - heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke. Suicide rates are also higher in rural America. 

What can we do? We need to support telemedicine, school-based health centers and other efforts that connect rural residents to medical and supportive services. 


Thursday: Technology & Public Health

Technology is changing the public health landscape. For example, organizers are building online learning communities where public health practitioners worldwide can swap best practices. You can use apps to track your own health, find support groups online, and do your own research. Health professionals across the country have used social media as a tool to educate and advocate to others. 

What can we do? Make sure you utilize these tools for yourself and make sure other people know about the benefits of technology when it comes to public health. 


Friday: Climate Change

Climate change is linked to more frequent/extreme natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding and drought. It also negatively impacts our food security and exacerbates the risks of vector-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease. 

What can we do? Support policies that help mitigate and prevent worsening climate change, such as rules that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Be a friend to the environment and begin the shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable, clean energies. 


Weekend: Global Health

Across the world, communities still struggle with preventable and often-neglected diseases. For example, while global measles deaths have decreased since 2000, the vaccine-preventable disease is still common in many developing countries. The World Health Organization's top 10 threats to global health include pandemic flu, cholera, violent conflict, malaria, malnutrition and natural disasters. 

What can we do? Support continued funding for U.S. global health efforts, which work to advance the Global Health Security Agenda. Call on U.S. and world leaders to protect health workers and facilities during violent conflicts. 


If we partner across public and private sectors to ensure decisions are made with people's health in mind, we can build healthier communities and eventually, a healthier nation. 


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