2007 National Public Health Week
Every year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) serves as the lead organizer of National Public Health Week (NPHW) and develops a national campaign to educate the public, policy makers, and practitioners about issues important to improving the public’s health. This year, APHA, its 50,000 members and communities across the nation will celebrate NPHW by encouraging Americans to “Take the First Step!” toward preparing effectively for public health emergencies.
Today, the threat of a natural or man-made disaster looms. Local, state and federal governments, along with a multitude of nonprofit organizations, have made efforts to educate Americans about what they need to do to prepare. Yet, despite growing threats and a host of awareness campaigns, Americans remain largely unprepared for the next public health emergency.
A September 2006 poll conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion revealed that only 31 percent of Americans have any emergency plans in place. For some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations – including mothers with young children, hourly-wage workers, and individuals with chronic illnesses –preparedness is an even bigger challenge.
While it is important for everyone to have a comprehensive preparedness plan, NPHW 2007 will focus on the unique preparedness needs of the following:
- Mothers with children
- Local food banks
- Hourly-wage workers and employers
- Schools serving children in kindergarten through 12th grade
- Individuals with chronic health care needs