NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK • APRIL 7–13, 2014
National Public Health Week 2014: Overview
Since 1995, communities from across the country have participated in National Public Health Week. Every April, we come together to celebrate public health and renew our commitment to promoting a healthier nation using a unique theme to center the conversation. NPHW 2014 will focus on ways to guide the community through the evolving public health system with the theme: “Public Health: Start Here.”
As we invite communities to join NPHW 2014, let’s work to help them understand how public health affects their lives and offer guidance on how to navigate the changing system. Whether it’s through research, data collection, health education, policy change or direct services, public health lays the foundation and creates the conditions
that put healthy choices within reach. Let’s help our communities figure out where to start and how to access the variety of options made possible by public health.
A recent change that will impact the public health system is the enactment of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Taking two U.S. health systems — public health and health care — and bringing them into each other’s world, the ACA envisions more collaboration between the health workforces to save lives and money. The ACA signals a shift in our nation’s health system from one that focuses on treatment of the sick to one that is committed to proactively keeping people and communities healthy and safe. Included in the historic law are comprehensive prevention provisions consistent with those called for by APHA in its health reform agenda and supported by other leading experts in population health.
National Public Health Week 2014 will fall at a critical time in the ACA process — just after the first Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period ends on March 31, 2014. This will be an important opportunity to rally stakeholders and members of our communities together around the value of public health. We need you to participate, and to remind your communities that public health professionals can help them navigate these changing times.