April 3th- 9th is National Public Health Week!

A Healthy Community Starts with You!

What if we all made just one of the choices outlined in the video below?

Despite the tremendous improvements in health we’ve made in the 20th century, Americans live shorter lives and suffer worse health outcomes than people in many other high-income countries.

That’s why this week, during National Public Health Week (link is external), the American Public Health Association, Research America and hundreds of partners across the country are rallying around a goal of making the U.S. the Healthiest Nation in One Generation — by 2030. We’re building a national movement of people, communities and organizations working to ensure conditions where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy.

While maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having access to health insurance are critical components toward reaching our goal, we also know that they are only part of a much bigger picture. A growing body of research also tells us that social and environmental determinants — such as education, income, housing and childhood trauma — not only shape people’s risk of disease and poor health throughout their lifetimes, but help shape the risk of disease and poor health into the next generation.

Together, we’re working to create a new groundswell of support for the changes that must be made within our health system to realize this goal. And we underscore the critical need to invest in health research that will help lead to new discoveries and new interventions that improve the health of our communities.

Changing our health means ensuring conditions that give everyone the opportunity to be healthy, and joining us this week is a great place to start. There are several ways you can take part.

>> Sign the pledge (link is external) to help create the healthiest nation. Join us in supporting efforts to improve the factors that affect everyone’s health and limit the ability for many people to make healthy choices.
>> Join health leaders in our National Public Health Week Twitter chat Wednesday, April 6, at 2 p.m. EDT. We’ll cover the health impacts of the environment, gun violence, high school graduation and other social determinants of health. Sign up online (link is external) or follow #NPHWchat to join the conversation.

>> Hang out with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Friday, April 8, at 2 p.m. EDT. This is a special opportunity for public health students to chat with our nation’s top doc and brainstorm on how to improve the health of our country. Register to join (link is external) us in a Google Hangout.

Join us as we celebrate National Public Health Week. Together, we can build a movement to make the U.S. the healthiest nation.

Written by Georges C. Benjamin, MD, is the executive director of the American Public Health Association (APHA (link is external))