U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin paid a visit to Denver on Wednesday to celebrate National Public Health Week and promote the National Prevention Strategy during an event held at the University of Colorado’s Colorado Center for Health and Wellness.
The prevention strategy, a comprehensive plan created by the Affordable Care Act that engages federal agencies in improving the quality of our nation’s health system, serves as a centerpiece of this year’s campaign.
Speaking to a crowd of APHA leaders and members as well as Denver-area mayors and staff of the Colorado Center, Benjamin touted some of the major goals and objectives of the strategy and, in particular, emphasized progress being made in the area of tobacco control.
“Together we can end the single most preventable cause of death: tobacco use,” said Benjamin, who recently released a surgeon general’s report on the scourge of tobacco use and marketing among youth.
Later, leading by example, Benjamin participated in a one-mile walk around the Colorado Center with nearly 200 public health advocates, including students of UC’s School of Public Health, faculty, APHA members and Colorado Public Health Association members.
The Denver event concluded with a panel discussion, moderated by APHA’s Georges Benjamin, that focused on the impact community health has on the local economy.
“Our work has shown that taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle can improve health and lower health care costs,” said James Hill, executive director of the Colorado Center for Health and Wellness.