April 7 kicks off the 19th annual observance of National Public Health Week in America, where public health officials highlight issues that are important to improving the health of Hoosiers and all Americans, noted Ken Severson, Indiana State Department of Health spokesman.
Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of families and communities through promotion of healthy lifestyles, research for disease and injury prevention and detection and control of infectious diseases.
This year’s National Public Health Week theme is “Public Health: Start Here.” Each day from April 7-11 will focus on a specific topic to raise awareness of public health and prevention:
• Monday, April 7: Be healthy from the start. From maternal health and school nutrition to emergency preparedness, public health starts at home.
• Tuesday, April 8: Don't panic. Disaster preparedness starts with community-wide commitment and action.
• Wednesday, April 9: Get out ahead. Prevention is now a nationwide priority.
• Thursday, April 10: Eat well. The system that keeps our nation's food safe and healthy is complex.
• Friday, April 11: Be the healthiest nation in one generation. Best practices for community health come from around the globe.
“Public health is everywhere you look,” said state health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “It’s the force behind the clean water we drink, the immunizations we get and the seatbelts in our vehicles. National Public Health Week provides a great opportunity to help Hoosiers better understand the public health system and its value.”
Public health professionals work at federal, state and local levels. They try to prevent problems from happening or recurring through implementing educational programs, recommending policies, administering services and conducting research – in contrast to clinical professionals like doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. Public health also works to limit health disparities.
The mission of ISDH is to promote and provide essential public health services toward a healthier and safer Indiana.The agency has identified three key priority initiatives for 2014: reduce infant mortality, adult obesity and adult tobacco use.
More information is offered at www.StateHealth.in.gov. For important health and safety information, persons may follow the department on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.