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General Contact Number: (530) 621-5567

pressreleases

Department:
Health and Human Services Agency

Date:
3/29/2018
Contact:
Margaret Williams

Phone:
(530) 642-7164

National Public Health Week is April 2 - 8, 2018

 

National Public Health Week (NPHW) is April 2–8, 2018. It is an annual event intended to raise awareness about the importance of public health in the United States. What is public health and why is it important in El Dorado County? 

"Public health activities and policies can positively influence the overall health of our communities," said Dr. Nancy Williams, El Dorado County Public Health Officer. "Public Health consists of monitoring health, performing activities, and instituting policies that relate to the general population. These activities can be more impactful than addressing health issues one person at a time. In essence, Public Health sets the stage for preventing illness and injury from occurring in the first place."  

Dr. Williams explained that while public health officials are required by law to provide some clinical care to individuals who are unable to get care elsewhere, classic public health activities include:

  • Responding to Health Threats – such as working in partnership with environmental health to investigate and stop a foodborne or communicable disease outbreak, a compromised water line that might render water unsafe to drink, or a bioterrorism event;
  • Health Education – such as teaching people how to quit smoking, the benefits of installing pool-fencing to reduce child drowning deaths, how to recognize signs of depression or other mental illness, or which foods to eat to maintain healthy weight and proper nutrition;
     
  • Promoting Healthy Activities and Environments – such as working with engineers and planners to ensure that new communities include sidewalks and playgrounds so that children and adults can walk and play, stay active and healthy, and reduce their chances of developing high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease;
     
  • Preventing Disease through Vaccinations – such as community based vaccination programs against measles, rubella, and many other harmful diseases;
     
  • Policy Development – such as when public health officials worked to enact policies to remove lead from paint and gasoline after lead exposure was discovered to be harmful to children's physical and mental development.

These are just a few of the types of activities performed by public health departments around the world and by the El Dorado County Public Health staff. For further information about El Dorado County Public Health programs and services visit https://www.edcgov.us/publichealth.

More information about NPHW and this year's public-health focus areas can be found at www.welldorado.org.

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