Make Plans Now for National Public Health Week
Tucker, Charlotte, The Nation's Health
Millions of Americans are injured every year, and of that number, more than 170,000 die. During National Public Health Week in April, public health workers from across the United States will hold events aimed at reducing the toll of injuries and violence.
This year's theme, "Safety is No Accident: Live Injury Free," will focus on the small steps everyone can take to prevent injuries and live safer, healthier lives. National Public Health Week will run from April 4-10, and using daily themes, will examine safety at home, at work, at play, on the move and in the community.
"There are so many small things people can do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from injuries," said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E). "National Public Health Week is the perfect opportunity to spread the word about injury prevention and personal safety."
In previous years, National Public Health Week themes have included designing healthy communities, preparedness, obesity and climate change. The themes change year to year, tackling the most important public health issues of the day. For example, APHA focused on the need for preparedness following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The rising tide of obesity led the Association to focus on that issue in 2003.
According to the 2011 National Public Health Week brochure, which is available online at www.nphw.org, "it only takes a moment for an injury to happen--a fall on a stair, a moment's glance away from the road, a biking or sports-related injury, a medication mix-up. But it also takes just a moment to protect against injuries and make communities safer."
As in previous years, organizers are encouraged to hold events highlighting the official theme, distribute materials to community members and reach out to the local media. Public health professionals are also urged to make advocacy a key component of their celebrations. During the week, organizers can visit APHA's advocacy website at http://action.apha.org/ takeaction, to send letters to their members of Congress on public health issues.
APHA is also offering a free toolkit for organizers of National Public Health Week events. The toolkit includes fact sheets, media outreach materials such as sample news releases, suggested editorial topics and sample radio public service announcements. APHA will provide tips for working with the traditional media as well as working with so-called "citizen journalists" and bloggers. The toolkit also includes tips for managing National Public Health Week blogs and a list of injury prevention websites, including the American Institute of Poison Control Centers, National Safety Council, Prevention Institute and Safe States Alliance. …