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State health department recognizes National Public Health Week

'A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement'

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[April 03, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Department of Public Health joins communities nationwide in recognizing National Public Health Week, April 2-8, and raising awareness about the importance of prevention and wellness through this year's theme, "A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement."

"Everyone has a role to play in creating healthier communities, and this year's theme encourages all of us to start now in taking active, strategic steps to get healthy and stay healthy," said Dr. Arthur Kohrman, acting director of the Department of Public Health. "Little steps can lead to big changes."

The first full week of April has been observed as National Public Health Week since 1995 as a time for communities nationwide to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the public's health.

With nearly 1 million Americans dying every year from diseases that could be prevented, National Public Health Week will highlight five daily themes:

  • Active living and healthy eating: Promote healthy choices in your communities, such as bike lanes and farmers markets.

  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs: Identify alcohol and drug use disorders early to reduce high-risk alcohol and drug consumption.

  • Communicable diseases: Encourage proper hand-washing and food preparation habits.

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  • Reproductive and sexual health: Practice safe sex, encourage responsible contraception behavior, and promote access to preventive health services.

  • Mental and emotional well-being: Refer people with signs of depression and suicidal thinking to appropriate resources and help centers.

During National Public Health Week -- which intersects with National Minority Health Month, observed every April -- the IDPH Center for Minority Health Services is also hosting its first-ever Minority Health Conference in Naperville on Wednesday and Thursday. The conference will examine health disparities affecting communities of color in Illinois and will work on proactive, preventive solutions for better health outcomes.

[Text from Illinois Department of Public Health file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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