National Public Health Week Shines Spotlight on 'What Is Public Health' as U.S. Faces Mounting Public Health Challenges

Tuesday, April 8, 2008 General News J E 4
WASHINGTON, April 7, 2008 National media headlines inrecent weeks have raised alarm bells about a resurgence of TB in Mississippi,escalating teen STD rates, and the public health risk associated with thevoluntary refusal of life-saving childhood vaccinations. If one thing isclear from these headlines it's that complacency and lack of awareness ishazardous to our health. That's why public health students at 17 colleges anduniversities across the country are participating in campaigns to raiseawareness of the important role public health plays in protecting the placeswe live, work and play and safeguarding lives.

The campaigns -- developed and executed by the students in commemorationof National Public Health Week -- utilize stickers with the slogan "This isPublic Health" placed in strategic locations across cities nationwide. Theeffort is designed to illustrate the many ways that our lives are impacted bypublic health and is being sponsored by the Association of Schools of PublicHealth (ASPH).

"Now more than ever, public health is your health," said Dr. HarrisonSpencer, President and CEO, ASPH. "The 'This is Public Health' campaign andNational Public Health Week allows us to illustrate the many ways in whichpublic health touches us all."

Public health battles range from containing deadly contagious diseases topushing for healthier lifestyles, from reducing incidences of preventablediseases to minimizing the consequences of catastrophic events, from providingthe basics of sanitation to safe food and water.

This National Public Health Week, consider that every day public healthworkers have worked around the clock to protect us against public healththreats such as:

The Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) is funding 19 studentorganized campaigns across the country in an effort to raise awareness offacts like those above, and build support for, and interest in, the publichealth field.

"Today's public health students are tomorrow's public health champions.As such, they are incredibly powerful spokespeople about the role publichealth serves in improving the conditions and behaviors that affect ourhealth," explained Dr. Spencer. "Given that America will be short more than aquarter of a million public health workers by 2020 -- one third of theworkforce needed to keep the world we live in healthy -- these effortsillustrate why support for public health infrastructure -- including schoolsof public health -- is so critically important."

The Association has also developed a website --, which contains information about the "Thisis Public Health Campaign" and a complete list of student-led National PublicHealth Week activities nationwide.


National Public Health Week (NPHW) -- organized nationally by the AmericanPublic Health Association (APHA) -- highlights the important role that publichealth plays in an increasingly interconnected world. Public health improvesthe conditions and behaviors that affect the health of each and every one ofus including reducing incidences of preventable diseases, a push for healthierlifestyles, minimizing the consequences of catastrophic events and the basicsanitation of food and water. This week provides a unique opportunity toeducate each other on the vital role public health plays in all of our lives.

APHA has designated climate change -- an unprecedented challenge to thehealth of our planet and its citizens -- as the theme for 2008.


ASPH represents the 40 Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)accredited Schools of Public Health in North America. ASPH promotes theefforts of Schools of Public Health to improve the health of every personthrough education, research and policy. Based upon the belief that


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