Washington, D.C., April 2, 2012 – The American Public Health Association kicks
off National Public Health Week 2012 today to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments
in protecting and improving our nation’s health and raise awareness about
important health issues facing communities across the country.
Through this year’s
theme, “A Healthier America Begins Today,” NPHW 2012 will focus on a holistic
approach to preventing disease and promoting wellness by encouraging the public
to avoid tobacco use, eat healthier, become more physically active and prevent
unintentional injuries. The National Prevention Strategy, the first-ever comprehensive
plan developed by a wide array of federal agencies and national experts to
improve the health of all Americans across the lifespan, also serves as a
centerpiece for this year’s campaign.
This national observance
is intended to educate and engage the public, policymakers as well as the
public health community on issues that are vital to creating a healthier,
“With nearly 1 million
Americans dying every year from diseases that could be prevented, even small
preventive changes and community initiatives can make a big difference in
living healthier lives,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E),
executive director of APHA. “This week, as public health takes center stage, we
celebrate the extraordinary achievements of the public health community and recognize that each and
every one of us has a role to play in improving the health of ourselves, our
families and our communities.”
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley
(D-Ore.) and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) introduced resolutions in
Congress recognizing National Public Health Week and the critical role public
health can play in preventing premature disability and death.
Beginning today and
throughout NPHW, April 2-8, APHA and hundreds of partners in communities across
the country are urging all Americans to take small steps toward preventing disease
and injuries, and keeping themselves and their families safe.
Daily themes focus on key
priorities outlined in the National Prevention Strategy:
- Active Living and
Healthy Eating: Promote healthy choices in your communities,
such as bike lanes and farmer’s markets.
- Alcohol, Tobacco and
Other Drugs: Identify alcohol and drug use disorders early to reduce high-risk
alcohol and drug consumption.
Diseases: Encourage proper hand-washing and food preparation habits.
- Reproductive and
Sexual Health: Practice safe sex, encourage responsible contraception
behavior and promote access to preventive health services.
- Mental and Emotional
Well-Being: Refer people with signs of depression and suicidal thinking to
appropriate resources and help centers.
about NPHW, visit www.nphw.org.