The first full week of every April is National Public Health Week, a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the public’s health. This year’s observance, which begins Monday, comes more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, an event that has vividly demonstrated the importance of public health in our communities.
Because of the pandemic, ACHI will not mark the week with in-person activities, but follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for posts highlighting this year’s themes, which were chosen by the American Public Health Association. The APHA has been the official organizer of National Public Health Week since its inception in 1995.
The overall theme for the week is “Building Bridges to Better Health.” The daily themes are:
Monday, April 5: Rebuilding. This does not mean getting back to where we were before the pandemic; it means strengthening our public health system, funding for which was declining before the pandemic.
Tuesday, April 6: Advancing Racial Equality. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted racial inequities in our communities that impact health. We must address these inequities, including working to improve racial equity in vaccine distribution.
Wednesday, April 7: Strengthening Community. Social isolation and loneliness are public health issues, and the COVID-19 pandemic likely has exacerbated them.
Thursday, April 8: Galvanizing Climate Justice. Climate change is a threat to public health, and the threat is greatest for low-income communities and communities of color.
Friday, April 9: Building COVID-19 Resilience. There are many lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the risks of inadequately funding public health, failing to communicate scientific knowledge in an understandable way, and failing to counter misinformation.
Saturday, April 10: Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness. Not only has COVID-19 attacked people’s physical health, it has also increased mental health stressors in many ways, including anxiety, isolation, loss of income, and loss of loved ones.
Sunday, April 11: Elevating the Essential Health Workforce. Employers can protect employees and customers by adopting strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including requiring masks.