This Week is National Public Health Week

This week is National Public Health Week – a week that takes a look at the contributions of public health departments, and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health. Joyce Mann from the Fond du Lac County Health Department says their efforts locally start with creating healthy communities, and there are a lot of ways they do that. She points to areas like preventing lead poisoning in children that live in older homes and helping create public policy that reduces the public’s exposure to toxins and other harmful things. “Another example that we work on a lot, that ties into other initiatives is – do we have safe ways for people to get out and be physically active, like walking and biking and enjoying Wisconsin when its at its best,” Mann said. She also points to encouraging immunization as a way the health department helps create a healthy community.

Mann says that the county health department is also focused a lot on rural health. “Rural communities have much greater risks of heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, stroke and unintended injuries,” she said. “More recently in rural communities, there’s been a focus on the opioid prevention, and the impact that’s having on rural communities as well.” Mann also points to disaster response as a way the health department works to help the community. She says disaster response includes encouraging people to make an emergency response plan for if and when a disaster strikes, and supporting Red Cross shelters for those displaced by recent flooding in Fond du Lac. Mann says they provide nurses to a shelter setting to make sure the people who had to leave their home quickly have their medical needs met.

National Public Health Week is held the first week of April every year. Some of the other themes this year include Violence Prevention, Technology and Public Health, Climate Change and Global Health. Learn more about NPHW here