SPRINGFIELD – Do you know what public health is? If you have ever eaten at a restaurant, used a public swimming pool, gone to a hospital, needed an ambulance, or received a flu shot, you’ve received public health services. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), in conjunction with 97 certified health departments across the state, works every day to control infectious diseases, ensure food safety, conduct newborn screenings, provide immunizations, regulate hospitals and nursing homes, compile birth, death, and other statistics, and educate communities about how to live healthier lives. April 2-8, 2018, is National Public Health Week, a time to highlight issues that are important to improving the health of our nation. The goal of public health is to make the U.S. the healthiest nation in one generation.
“Where we live, work, and play impacts each of us and can influence our health and how long we live,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “Working together, we can build healthier communities. Each day of National Public Health Week focuses on one public health topic that is critical to our future success in creating the healthiest nation.”
Monday, April 2: Behavioral Health
Advocate for and promote well-being
Focus on and advocate for improved access to mental and behavioral health services. Use education and training to de-stigmatize mental health diagnoses and encourage people experiencing mental illness to seek treatment.
Tuesday, April 3: Communicable Diseases
Learn about ways to prevent disease transmission
Wash your hands. Know your HIV status. Keep yourself and your families immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases — and get your flu shot!
Wednesday, April 4: Environmental Health
Help to protect and maintain a healthy planet
Protect our natural resources and use evidence-based policy to protect our air, water and food. Support environmental health efforts that monitor our communities for risks and develop health-promoting interventions like building more sidewalks and bike lanes.
Thursday, April 5: Injury and Violence Prevention
Learn about the effects of injury and violence on health
Support policies that save those struggling with addiction from a fatal drug overdose. Many injuries are preventable with the appropriate education, policy and safety measures.
Friday, April 6: Ensuring the Right to Health
Advocate for everyone’s right to a healthy life
The places where we live, learn, work, and play should promote our health, not threaten it. That’s why creating the healthiest nation requires a dogged focus on achieving health equity for all.
During National Public Health Week, we encourage you to share your story on the IDPH Facebook page about how public health has affected your life and your ideas for making the U.S. the Healthiest Nation in One Generation. Facebook.com/IDPH.Illinois.