April 4-10 is National Public Health Week (NPHW), the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual celebration of the importance of public health efforts in communities around the country. This year, NPHW’s theme is Healthiest Nation 2030, which aims to help us understand how our country can become healthier in one generation. During this week, the Norwalk Health Department is joining APHA to highlight local public health efforts and provide information on important public health challenges.
The term "public health" describes efforts to prevent illness, promote health, and extend the lives of a community of people. While doctors and other health care workers treat individuals when they get sick, public health professionals serve entire communities and are focused on preventing illness from happening in the first place. Public health encompasses so much of our day-to-day lives and often operates behind the scenes. In fact, it might be easy to miss the many ways the Health Department touches the lives of Norwalkers.
- We inspect restaurants, housing units, salons, and other places for safety and sanitation
- We test the beach water during the summer months to make sure it’s safe to swim
- We provide vaccines to children and adults, including travelers
- We offer testing and counseling for people concerned about sexually transmitted diseases
- We investigate disease outbreaks to help the community stay healthy and stop the spread of disease
- We work with police, fire, and other city officials to prepare for emergencies
- We teach children and adults about eating healthy, staying active, and making healthy choices
- We partner with educators, health care providers, social service agencies, and others to make it easier for people to make those healthy choices
These are just a few of the services the Department offers to those who live, work, learn, and play in Norwalk. To learn more about the Norwalk Health Department, visit www.norwalkhealth.com, Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NorwalkHealth). To join the public health movement and find a list of NPHW events near you visit http://www.nphw.org/.