The American Public Health
Association (APHA) is a champion for health all year long, and
next week during National Public
Health Week, is the perfect time to not only recognize what
public health initiatives bring to our communities, but also to
provide education about the most important issues surrounding each
year's theme. This year's theme is Public Health: Start
Here, presented as encouragement for public health
professionals to help their communities and patients navigate the
changing landscape of health and prevention.
The health landscape certainly has changed pretty substantially
in the past year. With the Affordable Care Act ramp up and
subsequent enrollment deadline of March 31, unprecedented
attention has been placed on patient-centered care, improved
outcomes, and preventive care.
In particular, preventative procedures and checkups are now
covered by insurance, a change that has a profound impact on public
health. Preventative medicine not only leads to healthier
individuals, families, and communities, but it also leads to
reduced health care costs. It's a win-win situation. According to
APHA, "The ACA signals a shift in our nation's health system from
one that focuses on treatment of the sick to one that is committed
to proactively keeping people and communities healthy and safe.
Included in the historic law are comprehensive prevention
provisions consistent with those called for by APHA in its health
reform agenda and supported by other leading experts in population
And yet, all these changes can be confusing, and the laws and
policies are often difficult to understand. With that in mind, APHA
has broken National Public Health Week into themes for each day of
the week to encourage public health and health communication
professionals to support public health and prevention, as well as
encourage the public to take "one small step each day for a
Check out the National Public Health Week schedule to learn how
you can get involved:
- 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.
If you're not sure how to get started or want to learn about
local events, check out the toolkits and other resources on www.nphw.org.