Each day of NPHW zeros in on a different public health topic, and today’s is “Healthy Communities.” It’s the perfect opportunity to kick off conversations around this year’s NPHW theme of “Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health.”
By now, the research is crystal clear: People’s health, longevity and well-being are connected to their communities — the places we live, learn, work, worship and play. Whether it’s healthy housing, clean drinking water or safe places for kids to play, many opportunities to improve health happen far outside the doctor’s office. In fact, some of the greatest opportunities to create the healthiest nation start with smart policies that prioritize people’s health.
On this first day of NPHW, call on decisionmakers to consider health in all policies, and ask your members of Congress to prioritize public health funding. Help us raise awareness of the critical role of public health systems in keeping us safe from preventable disease and injury. And don’t forget: We all have a role in creating healthier communities. Use this week to think about ways you can partner with family, friends and co-workers to make a positive difference.
For more on today’s NPHW theme and ways to take action, read their Healthy Communities fact sheet and help spread the word on social media.
America’s rural communities often face tall barriers to good health. Fortunately, those barriers aren’t insurmountable.
Today — the third day of National Public Health Week — join us in raising awareness about the health challenges facing rural communities and ways to close those health gaps and reach people where they are.
Rural communities face a range of health disparities, from higher burdens of chronic disease to limited access to primary care and prevention services. For example, rural Americans face a greater risk of death from the five leading causes of death — heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke. The opioid addiction epidemic has also hit rural places especially hard, with high rates of fatal drug overdoses.
But there are promising solutions, such as using telemedicine and school-based health centers to connect rural residents with health care and social services. Smart policy can make a life-saving difference, too, such as expanding access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone and defending Medicaid expansions that widen access to mental health and addiction treatment.
Gun violence is an epidemic in America. On this second day of National Public Health Week — which has a daily theme of “Violence Prevention” — about 100 Americans will be killed with guns, and hundreds more will be injured. That's just today!
Beyond gun violence, 1 in 4 U.S. women experience intimate partner violence, 1 in 6 has been the victim of rape or attempted rape, and hundreds of thousands of children experience abuse and neglect. Yet violence is preventable with the right research, resources and policies.
In support of today’s NPHW theme, urge policymakers to pass commonsense measures to reduce gun violence and provide research funding on par with the nation’s gun violence epidemic. Learn about ways to help make your community safer for all, such as using trauma-informed services to identify victims of violence and calling on law enforcement officials to treat all people with dignity, respect and fairness.