By Samer Koutoubi, M.D., Ph.D.
Program Director and Faculty Member, Public Health at American Public University
Let’s make America the healthiest nation in one generation.
To celebrate National Public Health Week (NPHW) from April 4 — 10, 2016, join the American Public Health Association (APHA) in championing the goal of creating the healthiest nation. The NPHW brings together communities across the country to recognize public health contributions and highlight issues important to improving our nation’s health. This year’s theme, “Healthiest Nation 2030,” defines one central challenge for Americans: to make the U.S. the healthiest nation in one generation – that is, within the next 15 years.
Here’s how you can get involved and help support public health initiatives during National Public Health Week.
Despite what we often hear and read, Americans are not the healthiest people in the world. In the U.S., we spend more on health care but live shorter lives and suffer more health issues than our peers in other high-income countries.
To create the healthiest nation, we all need to start by pledging to take two steps:
- Creating a Healthy Me – We promise to make healthy choices that improve our health and set an example for our family and friends.
- Creating a Healthy We – Everyone deserves the opportunity for a long and healthy life. We promise to support efforts to improve the social and environmental factors that affect everyone’s health and limit the ability for many people to make healthy choices.
2. Stay informed with Facts of the Week.
Changing our health means ensuring conditions that give everyone the opportunity to be healthy. Join the public health community in celebrating National Public Health Week 2016 and become a part of the movement for change. See below for a comprehensive resource list of informative topics:
- Build a nation of safe, healthy communities
- Help all young people graduate from high school
- The relationship between increased economic mobility and better health
- Social justice and health
- Give everyone a choice of healthy food
- Preparing for the health effects of climate change
- Provide quality health care for everyone
- Strengthen public health infrastructure and capacity
3. Spread the Word — Share this with your community!
Please help us spread the word! Share this infographic with friends, family and colleagues. Getting informed is the first step to becoming a healthier nation.
APHA has several events planned, starting with NPHW’s forum “How Does the Healthiest Nation Look in 2030?” This forum will be held on April 4 at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s Barbara Jordan Conference Center in Washington, D.C.
Find out how you can celebrate NPHW within your community.
5. Get Social on Twitter!
American Public Health Association will host its sixth annual National Public Health Week Twitter Chat on April 6, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Follow @NPHW on Twitter and use the hashtag #NPHWchat to join the conversation on creating a healthier nation by 2030. Please be sure to register for the chat!
Generation Public Health is a movement of people dedicated to working together to improve both their own health and the health of their communities. Now is the time for every individual to pull together to make America a healthy nation and to bring health and prosperity to every American community. Knowing the proven relationship between a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention, personal health, and enabling people to take control to improve their health via health education is imperative. Knowledge = Power = Health!
Public health professionals must play a key role in communicating public health information to the general public effectively. Whether we work in an academic setting, a government agency, or in private sectors, let’s make a commitment to personal health starting during National Public Health Week.
About the Author
Dr. Koutoubi earned his Ph.D. in Dietetics and Nutrition from Florida International University in 2001. He earned his M.D. degree in 1988 from Iuliu HaÈ›ieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Dr. Koutoubi’s research focuses on coronary heart disease among tri-ethnic groups, including African-Americans, Caucasians and Hispanics. His interest is in disease prevention and wellness, epidemiological research, cardiovascular disease and nutrition, homocysteine metabolism, lipoprotein metabolism, and cultural food and health. He has also authored a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals and written a book review. He served as the Editor-in-Chief for The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine and reviewed manuscripts for The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the Ethnicity and Disease Journal, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and The Journal of The National Medical Association. Dr. Koutoubi has also been quoted in national magazines and newspapers, including Natural Health Magazine, Energy Time, Well Being Journal, Northwest Prime Time and Natural Food Merchandiser.