National Public Health Week starts today! This piece from American Public Health Association President Joseph Telfair, DrPH, MPH, MSW explores everything we have in store this week. 

APHA President Dr. Joseph Telfair

APHA President Dr. Joseph Telfair

Today, I join APHA, other public health professionals and hundreds of partner organizations in kicking off National Public Health Week and celebrating and advocating for public health. Hundreds of events, conversations and activities planned for the week in every state will encourage and support communities to take action on preventing disease and injury and improving health. I’m excited to see months of planning come to fruition, and to see our community come together and take a victory lap for the commitment, perseverance and hard work that public health professionals exhibit all year.

We face uncertain times. As most readers will know, U.S. life expectancy has declined two years in a row. But the NPHW theme, “Healthiest Nation 2030: Changing Our Future Together,” serves as a reminder to form new partnerships, to work together and to lean on one another as we tackle both new and old threats.

This week, hundreds of partners are helping APHA celebrate lives saved and improved by prevention efforts. Organizations and individuals from the surgeon general to local health departments are using National Public Health Week as a rallying cry to tell the success story of public health. Check out NPHW events in your area on our calendar.

This afternoon, APHA will host the National Public Health Week Forum from 1-3 p.m. ET in Washington, D.C. We’re excited to hear from U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, who will deliver a keynote address. A panel focused on public health partnerships will follow. If you can’t join us in person, fear not: the event will also be livestreamed!

APHA will also host a National Public Health Week Twitter Chat on Wednesday, April 4, 2-3 p.m. ET. In past years the chat has sparked discussion on public health priorities ranging from health equity to climate change, education and mental health, and this year will be no exception. We’ll be joined on Twitter by a chorus of federal agencies, leading nonprofits and APHA members. There’s still time to register, or you can follow along at #NPHWchat.

APHA’s 1 Billion Steps Challenge, a national walking and moving competition that finishes during National Public Health Week, reached its goal of 1 billion steps in March with weeks to spare. Hundreds of teams have been tracking their steps from January through April, inspiring communities across the country to encourage walking, rolling and moving.

Each day during National Public Health Week will focus on a different daily theme, starting with behavioral health today and ending with ensuring the right to health on Friday. You can explore the daily themes and learn more about these topics here. And right here on Public Health Newswire, we’ll be featuring expert commentary on the daily themes all week. Looking for something to tweet or post? Check out our communications toolkit and our collection of NPHW graphics.

We’re excited each spring by the momentum and energy that National Public Health Week inspires, and we hope you feel it too. I join APHA in congratulating the public health community on all it has accomplished this year and urging your participation and support as we continue our work to create the healthiest nation. Happy National Public Health Week!