Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Health Division (OCHD), under the leadership of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, celebrates the 18th annual National Public Health Week (NPHW) the first week in April by focusing on how public health is critical to our community's health and future.
"It's impossible to disconnect our individual health from our community's health," said Kathy Forzley, OCHD manager/health officer. "Good health doesn't happen by chance. It's connected to the environments in which we live, work and play; it's tied to the resources available in our communities; and research shows that it’s undoubtedly linked to a person's access to good health care."
Public health maintains the health victories we've accomplished so far, such as dramatic reductions in tobacco use, improvements in the water supply, control of infectious diseases through vaccines and antimicrobial drugs, and increases in life expectancy with enormous improvements in survival rates of mothers and their infants. Public health is essential to confronting today's big problems, such as rising chronic disease rates. Public health also monitors and protects us from emerging health threats, reduces vaccine-preventable diseases, provides life-saving services for vulnerable populations and much more.
- Stay up to date on recommended vaccinations for yourself and your loved ones.
- 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 www.health.gov/paguidelines to learn more.
- Support local farmers markets and other access points to fresh fruits and vegetables. It's not only good for your health; it's good for the local economy too.
- Inquire about volunteer opportunities at community health centers.
- Take part in national health observances, such as National HIV Testing Day, National Youth Violence Prevention Week and National Minority Health Month.
- Encourage local restaurants to provide healthy choices and nutrition information on their menus.
- Partner with local parks and recreational facilities to increase access to safe places to be outside and physically active.
- Reach out to clinical partners and engage them in community health and prevention efforts.
- 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.
For more information on Health Division services or health related resources, find us on Facebook at Public Health Oakland or follow us at twitter.com/publichealthOC. You can also call Nurse on Call at 1-800-888-5533 or visit www.oakgov.com/health.
About National Public Health Week
Since 1995, when the first full week of April was declared National Public Health Week, communities across the United States have observed National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. Each year, National Public Health Week focuses its effort on a different theme. This year's theme is "Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money." The 2013 theme was developed to highlight the value of prevention and the importance of well-supported public health systems in preventing disease, saving lives and curbing health care spending. National Public Health Week runs April 1-7. For more information, visit www.nphw.org.
For media inquiries only, contact Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer at Oakland County Health Division, at 248-858-1410.