Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Health Starts Here . . . Public Health Week April 7-13, 2014

During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) 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, the theme is, “Public Health: Start Here.”  Each day of the week highlights a different aspect of public health and portrays just how important public health programs and services are in creating healthier communities.

 Daily Themes
·         Monday, April 7- Be healthy from the start:
From maternal health, breastfeeding support, family nutrition to emergency preparedness, public health starts at home. Did you know that prenatal care helps keep mothers and their babies healthy. Babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who do get care. ( Prenatal Health Fact Sheet,

·         Tuesday, April 8: Don't panic:
Public health professionals help communities withstand the impact of a natural or man-made disaster by planning ahead, acting as a source of information during the crisis and helping to mitigate the long- and short-term effects.  The JCPH Emergency Preparedness Program is here to help you weather the unexpected.

·         Wednesday, April 9: Get out ahead:
Prevention is now a nationwide priority. Today, seven in 10 deaths in the U.S. are related to preventable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.  A striking fact is that 75 percent of our health care dollars are spent treating such diseases, while only 3 percent of our health care dollars go toward prevention. (Public Health & Prevention Fund Fact Sheet, APHA,
Consider that more than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices such as not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right, keeping active and getting recommended screening tests. (American Cancer Society-  View the JCPH 2013 health assessment and preliminary health improvement plan: to learn more about JCPH and its many programs dedicated to prevention.

·         Thursday, April 10: Eat well.
The system that keeps our nation's food safe and healthy is complex. Public health is here to help you guide through the choices. The JCPH Food Safety Program helps to assure that foodborne illness stays off the menu at Jefferson County food service establishments. Other JCPH programs work to encourage healthier eating and active living. Did you know, that in total, we are now eating 31 percent more calories than we were 40 years ago — including 56 percent more fats and oils and 14 percent more sugars and sweeteners? The average American now eats 15 more pounds of sugar a year than in 1970. (Let’s Move,

·         Friday, April 11: Be the healthiest nation in one generation.
For the first time in decades, the current generation isn’t as healthy as the one that came before.  It is time for communities to come together to take a stance against this disturbing trend to make sure that children and young adults have bright, healthy futures. Get involved in creating a healthier Jefferson County by learning more about what your city or community is doing to improve health for all. Consider attending city council meetings and other opportunities for your voice to be heard.  The League of Women Voters of Jefferson County provides useful links to government information and web sites as a public service to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government. 

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