National Public Health Week: April 1st-7th, 2013
Public Health is a Return on Investment:
Save Lives, Save Money
The cost of U.S. health care is rising faster than national income. But studies have shown that investing $10 per person each year in proven, community-based public health efforts could save the U.S. more than $16 billion over 5 years, which is a $5.60 return for every $1 invested. Investing in public health is a long-term process, but if done correctly, it is one that will show a huge return in the future.
History of National Public Health Week
In 1995, former President William Jefferson Clinton proclaimed the first full week of April as National Public Health Week (NPHW). Each year since then, the public health community has celebrated this observance by focusing on an issue that is important to improving the public’s health.
The American Public Health Association (APHA) serves as the lead organizer of NPHW and with the help of its 50,000 members and hundreds of organizational partners, educate the public, policymakers, and practitioners about the importance of public health.
This year National Public Health Week will have five sub-themes:
- Monday: Ensuring a safe, healthy home;
- Tuesday: Providing a safe environment for children at school;
- Wednesday: Creating a healthy workplace;
- Thursday: Protecting drivers, passengers and pedestrians; and
- Friday: Empowering a healthy community.
Public Health Promotion Events Happening Around the Country and Near You:
Highlighted Events in Minnesota and North Dakota:
- National Public Health Week Film Festival- held Monday, April 1st starting at 4:00 PM through Friday, April 5th; in the University of Minnesota Mayo Memorial Auditorium.
- Research Day Competition- held Friday, April 5th at 4:00 PM in the University of Minnesota Coffman Memorial Union Great Hall.
- Public Health Practice and the North Dakota State MPH- held Wednesday, April 3rd at 11:00 AM through Friday, April 5th at 1:15 PM in the NDSU Memorial Union.
How can I help promote public health?
- Speak up about the importance of physical education in school.
- Volunteer for school health education efforts that teach kids to say no to tobacco, drugs and alcohol.
- Support evidence-based sexual health education that’s aimed at preventing disease and unplanned pregnancy and is inclusive of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.
- Stay up to date on recommended vaccinations for yourself and your loved ones.
- Gather your household for a night of emergency preparedness: Make plans for putting together an emergency stockpile kit, create a crisis communication plan, designate an emergency meeting place and hold household emergency drills.
- Look up the national Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to see how much physical activity you should get on a daily basis and encourage family and friends to do the same. Visit http://www.health.gov/paguidelines to learn more.
Then think big:
- Encourage schools to get involved in the national HealthierUS School Challenge, a voluntary certification initiative that recognizes schools that have created healthier environments by promoting nutrition and physical activity.
- Encourage local leaders to support transportation planning decisions that incorporate safe routes to walk and bike to school. Get involved in your local Safe Routes to School Program or organize an event during International Walk to School Day.
- Let your national leaders know that you support the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, which provide all children with access to nutritious meals, regardless of their family’s income.
- Volunteer to speak about the importance of public health and prevention at local schools, houses of worship, workplaces and community organizations.
- Create a local health movement! Start a healthy food co-op, organize a canning circle, gather a walking group or form a club dedicated to volunteering.
- Encourage local restaurants to provide nutrition information on their menus.
- Participate in workplace safety trainings and take advantage of workplace wellness efforts, such as flu shot clinics or exercise programs.
- Help organize a yoga or Tai Chi class for older adults to help improve balance and prevent falls.
- Get involved in community efforts addressing the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse, such as promoting drug take-back events.
- Spread the word about emergency preparedness at your children’s school, your parents’ retirement community and the other places you spend time. Volunteer to help these places assess their readiness and start planning.
Student Involvement Opportunities:
Students from colleges all across America made efforts to promote public health; here are some examples of what they did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bBFvaYR9QTw
Looking to get involved? Here are some helpful resources to get you started:
- Section I — Overview (PDF 817 KB): Includes a welcome letter from APHA; an overview of this year’s theme and useful talking points; and suggested activities and related talking points for each day’s theme.
- Section II — Event Planning (PDF 627 KB): Includes tips on how to plan a successful NPHW celebration, whether it be in-person or online.
- Section III— Media and Social Media Outreach (PDF 632 KB): Includes tips for gaining media coverage for your NPHW event; sample news releases, letters to the editor and social media content; and advice on making social media work for you.
- Section IV — Advocacy (PDF 783 KB): Includes ways to get involved in public health advocacy; a sample NPHW proclamation; advice on meeting with your decision-makers; and tips for town halls.
- Section V — Resources (PDF 598 KB): Additional sources of information related to this year’s NPHW theme.
This information was compiled from a variety of sources for the informational and educational use of MSUM students. For further information please visit the link to those sources as provided below:
Tagged: APHA, Creating a healthy workplace, empowering a healthy community, Ensuring a safe and healthy home, Minnesota, Minnesota State University Moorhead, MN, MSUM, national public health week, ND, North Dakota, NPHW, Protecting drivers and passengers and pedestrians, Providing a safe environment for children at school, Public health, Return on Investment, ROI, Saves lives, School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership, SNHL