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National Public Health Week 2020

Posted by on April 9th, 2020 Posted in: Blog, Education and Outreach, Public Health


For over 25 years, the American Public Health Association has organized National Public Health Week, a campaign to educate about relevant public health topics. Each day of the week has a theme to raise awareness of a specific public health issue. The National Library of Medicine and other government agencies have several resources to help you take a deeper dive into each of the topics highlighted during NPHW 2020. To learn more about the National Public Health Week campaign, visit the National Public Health Week website. To get involved, check out their Tools & Tips page and shareables for social media promotion.

The topics highlighted during National Public Health Week show the breadth of issues that public health professionals work to address in their communities each day. We hope that you will join the NNLM in saying #ThankYouPublicHealth. To hear from our public health leaders, visit the Thank You Public Health! Page.

Monday: Mental Health — advocate for and promote emotional well-being

Tuesday: Maternal and Child Health — ensure the health of mothers and babies throughout the lifespan

  • Did you know? About 700 pregnancy and delivery-related deaths occur annually in the United States;[3] further, maternal health outcomes in the United States vary by race and ethnicity.[4]
  • To take action, see the NPHW page on Maternal and Child Health outline several ways that we can work to reduce disparities and support mothers and their children. To understand global and historical approaches to maternal and child health, visit the NLM’s Digital Collections on maternal welfare.
  • For more information about gestational and infant health topics such as common pregnancy complications and remaining healthy during pregnancy, visit the CDC’s Reproductive Health site, and search the LactMed database for the latest guidance on reducing breastfeeding parents’ exposure to chemicals and drugs. 

Wednesday: Violence Prevention — reduce personal and community violence to improve health

Thursday: Environmental Health — help protect and maintain a healthy planet

  • Did you know? Your zip code can impact your health. A 2019 peer-reviewed study found associations between a person’s neighborhood and their health outcomes. [7]
  • To take action, the NPHW page on Environmental health suggests national strategies to improve environmental health. To learn what you do locally, visit the Community Action Tools page on NLM’s ToxTown website.
  • For more information visit the Environmental Health Topics area on the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences webpage.

Friday: Education — advocate for quality education and schools

  • Did you know? There is still a digital divide regarding those who do not have access to high speed, or any, Internet services. “14% of children between the ages of 3 and 18 as of 2017 did not have access to the Internet. But there are too many parts of this country where broadband is unavailable. In urban areas, 97% of Americans have access to high-speed fixed service. In rural areas, that number falls to 65%. And on Tribal lands, barely 60% have access. All told, nearly 30 million Americans cannot reap the benefits of the digital age.”[8]
  • To take action work with SciStarter to coordinate excellent virtual citizen science projects, and visit the NPHW Education page to understand how to make education more equitable to students who cannot participate in virtual learning.
  • For more information at what is being done to bridge this continuing gap [9] see the new report from the Brookings Institute. [10]

Saturday: Healthy Housing  — ensure access to affordable and safe housing

  • Did you know? The physical location we live in, not just our habits and choices, can impact our health [14].   Almost 6 million homes in the United States are considered substandard [12] and unstable housing correlates with higher healthcare use and hospital visits [13].
  • To take action, visit the NPHW Healthy Housing page to learn more about strategies to address this issue of healthy housing, including the many opportunities for action listed in APHA’s Environmental Health Playbook.
  • For more information about healthy housing, you can visit the National Center for Healthy Housing, linked in MedlinePlus’ organizations directory.

Sunday: Economics — advocate for economic empowerment as the key to a healthy life

  • Did you know? According to data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2017, 12.3% of the U.S. population was living in poverty [15]. Income is a social determinant of health, with low-income families being at higher risk for a number of chronic conditions.
  • To take action, visit the NPHW Economics page to learn about ways you can support policies that lift families out of poverty.
  • For more information about income and health, visit the Healthy People 2020 page on Social Determinants of Health and the MedlinePlus topic page on Health Disparities.

[1] Disaster Distress Helpline, Retrieved from:  https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline

[2] Stress and Coping, Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fmanaging-stress-anxiety.html

[3] Maternal Mortality, Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternal-mortality/index.html

[4] Maternal and Infant Health, Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/index.html

[5] Violence Prevention, Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/publichealthissue/index.html

[6] Reducing Stigma, Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/reducing-stigma.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fsymptoms-testing%2Freducing-stigma.html

[7] Chrisinger, B. W., Gustafson, J. A., King, A. C., & Winter, S. J. (2019). Understanding Where We Are Well: Neighborhood-Level Social and Environmental Correlates of Well-Being in the Stanford Well for Life Study. International journal of environmental research and public health16(10), 1786. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101786

[8] Children’s Access to and Use of the Internet, National Center for Education Statistics, Retrieved from: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cch.asp.

[9] Webinar Recording: Host or Facilitate Remote, Live-Streamed Citizen Science Events in a Pinch. Retrieved from: https://blog.scistarter.com/2020/03/webinar-recording-host-or-facilitate-remote-live-streamed-citizen-science-events/.

[10] Lee, N. T., (2020, March 2). Bridging digital divides between schools and communities. Retrieved from: https://www.brookings.edu/research/bridging-digital-divides-between-schools-and-communities/.

[11] Bridging The Digital Divide For All Americans. Retrieved from: https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/fcc-initiatives/bridging-digital-divide-all-americans.

[12] National Center for Substandard Housing (2020). Substandard Housing. Retrieved from: https://nchh.org/resources/policy/substandard-housing/

[13] Taylor, L. (2018, June 7). Housing And Health: An Overview Of The Literature. Health Affairs. https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hpb20180313.396577/full/

[14] American Public Health Association (2020). Healthy Housing. Retrieved from: http://www.nphw.org/nphw-2020/healthy-housing

[15] Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017,  Retrieved from: https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2018/demo/p60-263.html

[16] Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2012, Retrieved from:  https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_260.pdf

Written in collaboration with:

Erin Seger, Health Professions Coordinator, MAR,

Julie Botnick, Education and Outreach Librarian, PSR

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NNLM Public Health Coordination Office University of Massachusetts Medical School 55 Lake Avenue North Worcester, MA 01655 (508) 856-7633
This has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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