National Public Health Week
The first week of April is has been declared National Public Health Week (NPHW) since 1995. It is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the public's health.
2013 Daily Themes
Monday, April 1: Healthy Infrastructure
Responding effectively to public health threats or emergencies - whether a massive breakdown in pharmaceutical safety, natural disasters, environmental contaminants, bioterrorism or novel disease - requires a healthy and prepared core infrastructure. That infrastructure includes a trained workforce of epidemiologists and other scientists, laboratory capacity and capability, robust monitoring for diseases, investigation of exposures; and responsive regulatory functions when needed. MDH celebrates the importance of public health preparedness and response in a special YouTube video, Just Another Day..., plus a story on the fungal meningitis outbreak of 2012 on our website, Facebook posts, and Twitter messages.
Tuesday, April 2: Healthy Partnerships
MDH will highlight the importance of partnerships at an event, 2013 State of Public Health Forum: Sharpening Focus on Threats of the 21st Century. Public health professionals will gather for an important conversation convened by Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health, regarding the state of our public health in Minnesota. Commissioner Ehlinger believes the changing landscape of health policy makes this a crucial time in which the public health community must develop improved policies, programs, and partnerships to address the 21st century plagues of chronic disease, health disparities, and ineffective and unaffordable health care. In his presentation, Commissioner Ehlinger will urge the public health community to work together to forge new policies and partnerships that address these looming challenges. The forum will also feature a panel discussion on the importance of public health partnerships.
Wednesday, April 3: Healthy Communities
Commissioner Ehlinger will visit the Minnesota State Academies to see their Worksite Wellness and Farm to School initiatives, then travel to the Faribault Lutheran School to engage with staff and students in Active School Day and healthy eating activities. MDH's Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) worked with these community partners to encourage wellness activities.
The Commissioner will then participate in a reception at Rice County Public Health for community partners, county commissioners, and local public health staff, to learn more about local public health and SHIP in Rice County.
Thursday, April 4: Healthy Homes
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America. Every home should be tested for this radioactive gas and homes with high levels should be fixed. MDH will urge people to test for radon before they sell - or buy – a home. Twitter followers will get several Tweets related to indoor air and a Facebook entry will direct people to the MDH YouTube Channel, where people can watch a video on radon testing, as well as other MDH videos. Having a healthy home leads to healthier people. Order a radon test kit today.
Friday, April 5: Healthy Futures
A well-trained and energized workforce is required for current and future MDH activities to succeed. MDH and the U of M School of Public Health (SPH) have had a long and mutually beneficial partnership in training the next generation of public health professionals. Many SPH students intern at MDH and many MDH staff are SPH alumni and/or faculty. Commissioner Ehlinger and other staff will focus Friday on thanking the talented and hard-working staff of MDH for their many contributions to public health, and for their work on developing future public health leaders.