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Collage of public health images and text saying Healthiest GenerationDuring the first full week of April each year, communities across the United States observe National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health.

Americans are living 20 years longer than their grandparents’ generation, largely thanks to the work of public health. Yet people in other high-income countries live longer and suffer fewer health issues than we do. This is the defining challenge of our generation — a challenge that the public health community is uniquely positioned to help overcome.

Every day, public health practitioners work to ensure everyone has the opportunity to lead a healthy life. They collect the data that show which communities are at highest risk and where resources are needed most; they convene diverse stakeholders and build the community capacity needed to tackle a problem and sustain efforts over the long term; and they empower communities with the tools, knowledge and resources to make a difference and take charge of their health.

The value of a strong public health system is quite literally all around us – it’s in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the places where we all live, learn, work and play. It’s in the thousands of people whose lives are saved by seat belts, the young people who say “No!” to tobacco and the children given a healthy start thanks to vaccines. It is no stretch to say that we are all living examples of the public health return on investment.

Please join us in observing National Public Health Week 2017 and become part of a growing movement to create the healthiest nation in one generation.

Learn more about the County’s Public Health Department at  www.slopublichealth.org and by following Public Health on Facebook and Twitter.

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