Today marks the beginning of National Public Health Week 2021. During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the country to observe National Public Health Week, allowing this week to serve as a time to recognize the importance of public health, highlight issues that are important to improving the health of our nation, and thank our public healthcare workers.
As we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has never been more critical to ensure communities are healthy and safe. The National Public Health Week website states, “We may be physically distant from each other, but now it’s more important than ever to come together,” because, in the midst of the most challenging public health crisis of our lifetimes, it is critical that we all put a focus on public health by educating ourselves and our communities.
This week is meant to serve as a time to educate the public, policymakers, and practitioners about issues related to each year’s theme, “Building Bridges to Better Health,” with events throughout the week addressing poignant topics such as advancing racial equality, strengthening our communities, galvanizing climate justice, COVID-19 resilience, uplifting mental health and awareness, and much more.
“To ensure everyone has a chance at a long and healthy life, we must tackle the underlying causes of poor health and disease risk. Those causes are rooted in how and where we live, learn, work and play… Thankfully, we can do something. If we focus on inclusion and equity to ensure decisions are made with everyone’s health in mind, we can build healthier communities and, eventually, the healthiest nation.”
National Public Health Week: Going Digitial
Unlike years past, the events for NPHW are all virtual this year, yet the content and activities remain robust.
APHA has a vast list of educational, interactive, and fun seminars and discussions, including the NPHW Forum 2021: Strengthening Community from the Grassroots, featuring a conversation about the community-led movements that are creating a stronger, safer, healthier, and more inclusive world; a keynote address from Andrea Ault-Brutus, Ph.D. discussing Health Equity by exploring contemporary topics pertaining to health equity and how COVID-19 has brought to light the need of the continued work of public health professionals; the NPHW Instagram Scavenger Hunt sponsored by The American Public Health Association and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health; and more.
Though unable to gather in person, social media and virtual platforms are making it easier than ever to connect, create and take action within our communities.
Amidst all of the informative events, it is important to remember that a key component of NPHW is to express gratitude to all public health workers who have been tasked this past year like never before, working tirelessly throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic.
The APHA is encouraging everyone to use this week as an opportunity to share that appreciation, using social platforms and the hashtag #ThankYouPublicHealth. The dedication and commitment of public health workers have never been more apparent and never been more deserving of our praise.
The goal of the APHA and NPHW is to champion the health of all people and all communities, strengthen the public healthcare profession, and speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science.
Accurate Background encourages you to get involved this week, attend the virtual events, and thank your public health workers for their commitment to keeping our country safe. Together we can achieve the APHA’s mission of creating the healthiest nation in one generation.