Public Health officials dedicated to helping U.S. become healthiest nation
By Nola Goodrich-Kresse, Public Health Educator/Public Information Officer for Orleans County Public Health
National Public Health Week was celebrated last week. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about what Public Health is and what it can do to help us become the healthiest nation.
Americans are living 20 years longer than their grandparents’ generation, largely thanks to the work of public health. However, studies have shown people in other high-income countries are living longer and suffer fewer health issues than we do. We in public health are working toward overcoming challenge.
To address this challenge, the American Public Health Association created Generation Public Health to meet the goal of making the United States the Healthiest Nation in One Generation – by 2030. This is an opportunity for Public Health to encourage communities to make healthier choices in what we eat and do, as well as look at what impacts our health where we live, work and play. Together, we can be the generation that changes the course of health in America!
“The local Health Departments work diligently with community organizations, the New York State Health Department and our community partners to provide quality services and encourage residents to be pro-active in their health,” stated Paul Pettit, Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.
Changing our health means ensuring conditions where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy. We all have a role to play…where do you fit in?
• Build a nation of safe, healthy communities – support farmers markets and local businesses, especially those that value health, such as retailers that don’t sell tobacco.
• Help all young people graduate from high school – education is the leading indicator of good health, giving people access to better jobs, incomes and neighborhoods.
• Increase economic mobility.
• Achieve social justice and health equality.
• Give everyone a choice of safe, healthy food.
• Prepare for the health effects of climate change.
• Make the healthy choice the easy choice – avoid using tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. Eat healthy foods and increase your physical activity.
• Provide quality health care for everyone.
• Strengthen public health infrastructure and capacity.
Take time to talk with your family on how you can make healthier choices. Encourage one another and your local leaders to take the right steps to better health.