Each day during National Public Health Week, Public Health Newswire will feature guest commentary from our members focusing on the day’s theme. Today’s comes from APHA Maternal and Child Health Section and Oral Health Section members promoting Wednesday’s theme, “Building momentum.”

Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH, APHA Community Health Planning & Policy Development Section, APHA Intersectional Council Steering Committee; Elena Ong, PHN, MS, Asian & Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health, APHA Caucus Collaborative, APHA Governing Council member. APHA Awards Committee member; Alma C. Stewart, RN, MS, CCHC; Ashley Wennerstrom, PhD, MPH, APHA Community Health Planning & Policy Development Section

“Fuel the Public Health Movement, Advance NPHW Momentum!”

Amy Carroll-Scott

On the 20th National Public Health Week and fifth Affordable Care Act anniversaries, we have much to celebrate. Nationally, 16.5 million people who did not have health insurance are now covered! Yet many Americans are not benefitting from all that the ACA offers. The governor of Louisiana has opted not to expand Medicaid coverage, which leaves millions of Medicaid dollars on the table while hundreds of thousands of Louisianans lack health coverage. Health coverage improved in the 27 states implementing Medicaid Expansion, while Louisiana and other non-participating states continue to be left behind.

 

Elena Ong

The 2014 America’s Health Rankings ranks Louisiana at 48th.

If we want to become the healthiest nation, we must also improve the health of Louisianans.

That’s why the Community Health Planning & Policy Development Section convened its 4th annual Day of Action during the 2014 APHA Convention in New Orleans along with local partners, and more than 300 people signed the Letter to the Governor requesting his support for Medicaid Expansion.

 

Ashley Wennerstrom

 

 

The Louisiana Legislative Session begins April 13, 2015, so it’s not too late to act!

Sign the letter at www.lamedicaidexpansion.org to harness the momentum from the APHA Convention this NPHW and show Louisiana that national public health leaders consider Medicaid expansion an urgent national priority.

 

 

Alma Stewart

 

After you sign, fuel the momentum by encouraging your Sections, Caucuses and professional networks to sign!

 

 

 

APHA Oral Health Section members Alice Munkhoff Horowitz, PhD, MA; Sarah Radice, BS

“Get it from the tap”

Alice Horowitz

 

One of the greatest public health achievements of the last century comes at very little monetary cost, and is directly accessible from most people’s home faucets. Over the last 70 years community water fluoridation has changed the face of oral health in America showing us that public health really does start with what we do at home.

 

 

Sarah Radice

 

From birth, the health of our mouths and what we do to care for our mouths matter. Investing in community water fluoridation protects children from tooth decay — a preventable chronic disease, keeps our health system from providing unnecessary, costly treatment, and saves the American taxpayers money as every $1 invested in community water fluoridation saves $38 in prevented dental treatment costs.

For children, cavities are more common than any other preventable chronic disease. For many adults, access to dental care is a challenge and costly. For everyone, the cost of not preventing dental disease is an unnecessary health system cost we can no longer collectively afford as a nation.

We know prevention works, and fluoride is our best tool. Get it from the tap!

Request ‘Get it from the tap!’ posters in English and Spanish at no charge from Sarah D. Radice at SRadice@umd.edu or 301-405-2356.