National Public Health Week is April 7-11, 2014

Public Health: Start Here

In celebration of National Public Health Week 2014, CCHD offers tips on where to start when considering the role of public health in your community, neighborhood, and family.

Be Healthy From the Start

Good health starts in early childhood and even with prenatal development and care. Public health can ensure that children get the start they need to grow up healthy and strong!

Did You Know?

Breastfeeding is recommended for at least the first year of a child’s life, and exclusively for the first six months. Breastfeeding benefits both mother and child. Longer durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risks of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in mothers, while breastfed children have decreased risk of many common childhood infections and sudden infant death syndrome, as well as chronic conditions such as obesity, Type 1 diabetes, and leukemia. CCHD has certified lactation counselors to provide breastfeeding support and information for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. This includes one-on-one support and a “latch-in breastfeeding support group.” Click here to learn more!

Prenatal care can help keep mothers and their babies healthy. Babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who do get care. CCHD’s Maternal Child Health program offers services not only for women and families with young children, but pregnant women as well. Public Health Home Visitors can provide expectant mothers with health screenings, resources, and information.

Globally, an estimated 43 million preschool children were overweight or obese in 2010, a 60 percent increase since 1990. Children’s early life experiences, such as lack of breastfeeding, too little sleep, and too much television can increase the risk of obesity later in life. CCHD works in collaboration with groups like Get Fit Great Falls to encourage healthy eating and active living for children and adults alike.

To learn more about National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org. For more information on these topics and more, visit www.cchdmt.org or find us on Facebook.

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Don’t Panic

Public health professionals help communities withstand the impact of a natural or man-made disaster by planning ahead, acting as a source of information during the crisis, and helping to mitigate the long and short-term effects.

Did You Know?

Emergency preparedness is for everyone! Most communities may be affected by several types of hazards during a lifetime. Americans also travel more than ever before to areas with different hazard risks than at home. Be informed about the risks in your area or anywhere you plan on travelling. Take some time to learn about the appropriate responses and educate your family and friends. Visit www.ready.gov or CCHD’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness program to learn about different types of emergencies and what you can do to prepare.

Every year, thousands of people are affected by severe weather threats, such as tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Preliminary data for 2012 shows there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries. Keep aware of the weather situation in your area by visiting the National Weather Service. If the power goes out, a NOAA weather radio can help you stay informed on weather and other emergency information.

Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 40,000 people. The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent influenza. CCHD offers the vaccine throughout the entire flu season, and it is never too late to get vaccinated! Visit CCHD’s Immunizations program to learn more.

To learn more about National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org. For more information on these topics and more, visit www.cchdmt.org or find us on Facebook.

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Get Out Ahead

Prevention is now a nationwide priority, and as the public health system evolves, there are more options than ever when it comes to preventative health measures.

Did You Know?

Today, seven in 10 deaths in the U.S. are related to preventable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. Another striking fact is that 75 percent of our health care dollars are spent towards treating such diseases. Prevention measures can lower both of these statistics. Good nutrition and an active lifestyle can help. CCHD has a number of health promotion and wellness resources that can help you get started living a healthier life.

More than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices such as not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right, keeping active, and getting recommended screening tests. You may be eligible for free or low-cost screening tests. Find out more information through CCHD’s Cancer Control program.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1,144,500 people ages 13 and older are living with HIV infection, including 180,900, or 15.8 percent, who are unaware of their infection. CCHD offers HIV testing on a walk-in basis. Testing is free and can be confidential or anonymous. Learn more here.

Among adults who smoke, 68 percent began smoking regularly at age 18 or younger, and 85 percent started when they were 21 or younger. The average age of daily smoking initiation for new smokers in 2008 was 20.1 years among those ages 12-49. CCHD’s Tobacco Use Prevention program offers resources for those that would like to quit smoking, and the teen-led reACT youth program works to address issues of youth and tobacco addiction.

To learn more about National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org. For more information on these topics and more, visit www.cchdmt.org or find us on Facebook.

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Eat Well

The system that keeps our nation’s food safe and healthy is complex. There is a lot of information to analyze in order to understand food labels and to learn the best practices during a food borne illness outbreak.

Did You Know?

In total, we are now eating 31 percent more calories than we were 40 years ago, including 56 percent more fats and oils and 14 percent more sugars and sweeteners. The average American mow eats 15 more pounds of sugar a year than in 1970. Sites like www.chosemyplate.gov, www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, and http://eatrightmontana.org can help you make wise and nutritious food choices.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, released on January 31, 2011, emphasizes balancing calories with physical activity to manage weight. Just 30 minutes of physical activity each day makes a difference. Walking is an excellent and easy form of physical activity. Learn more about the benefits of walking.

Food borne contaminants cause an average of 5,000 deaths, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 76 million illnesses and cost billions of dollars annually. The five most common food borne pathogens cost the U.S. economy more than $44 billion each year in medical costs and lost productivity. CCHD’s Environmental Health Division works to prevent food borne illness in our community by licensing and inspecting food establishments and investigating consumer reports.

To learn more about National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org. For more information on these topics and more, visit www.cchdmt.org or find us on Facebook.

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Be the Healthiest Nation in One Generation

For the first time in decades, the current generation isn’t as healthy as the one that came before. Communities need to band together to take a stance against this disturbing trend to make sure that children and young adults have bright, healthy futures.

Did You Know?

Twenty-three to one: that’s the rate of the return on investment in clean water technologies in the first half of the 20th century. Clean, safe drinking water is one of the most important contributions to public health. CCHD’s Environmental Health Division helps ensure that our community’s drinking water is safe.

By 2020, the direct benefits of the federal Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) will have reached almost $2 trillion, much more than the $65 billion it will have cost to implement the law. About 85 percent of the $2 trillion is attributable to decreases in premature death and illness related to air pollution. Full implementation of the CIAA in Montana took place on October 1, 2009.

In 2013, CCHD partnered with Benefis Health System to release Cascade County’s Community Health Assessment (CHA). The CHA is a comprehensive report that evaluates that status of Cascade County residents’ health in different areas. Using the information in the CHA, CCHD and partnering community agencies and organizations have developed a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The CHIP identifies three priority health issues – access to care, healthy weight, and substance abuse – and sets goals, objectives, and strategies to help improve each.

To learn more about National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org. For more information on these topics and more, visit www.cchdmt.org or find us on Facebook.

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