The American Public Health Association serves as lead organizer of National Public Health Week and works with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and state and local partners to both build healthier communities and heighten awareness of important public health issues. This year’s NPHW will take place April 1-5. Through the theme, “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money,” NPHW 2013 will recognize the tremendous value of public health in our lives – at home, in schools, at the workplace, on the move and in the community. Learn what’s planned and how you can be involved in this year’s activities from Kimberly Moore, director of Affiliate Affairs at APHA.

Q: What is public health’s return on investment and why is it an important theme to highlight?
In the world of public health, return on investment, or ROI, is measured by the amount of health impact when compared to the resources invested, which may include direct funds, infrastructure or personnel. The public health ROI can be measured in lives saved, diseases and injuries mitigated or prevented and cost avoided thanks to community-based disease prevention and health promotion services. In light of tough fiscal constraints forcing public health agencies to do more with less, this year’s National Public Health Week theme “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money” is hugely important. Few investments are as far-reaching and life-changing as investments in evidence-based public health – and it is our job this year to highlight the huge dividends it pays back into the health and well-being of communities across the country every day.

Q:  What is APHA doing this year to help recognize National Public Health Week 2013?
APHA has recognized and promoted National Public Health Week 2013 in a variety of ways. A comprehensive website,, was created and is routinely updated with pertinent NPHW 2013 information. We’ve also formed a number of exciting to host and sponsor events across the county in recognition of NPHW 2013, including George Washington University, the film Escape Fire, and the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization. With NPHW’s ever-growing social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, we launched multiple contests and interactive activities in support of NPHW, including:

  • our third annual Twitter chat on April 3 at 2 p.m. EDT using #NPHWchat or following @NPHW;
  • a Student Contest, encouraging students to plan NPHW events;
  • an Infographic Contest in partnership with Piktochart;
  • additionally, the NPHW ‘Message Board’, which can be found on the APHA Facebook page, is an interactive way for people to have their voices heard on what public health means to them.

APHA has recognized Friday, April 5, as NPHW Student Day, in an effort to increase student involvement in public health activities on their campuses and in their communities. For more information, listen to one of our three NPHW partner webinars. We still have many other exciting efforts on the horizon that we’ll be promoting as they become available.

Q: How can organizations, national, state or local, get involved this year?
APHA encourages organizations and interested parties to become involved with National Public Health Week by becoming an official NPHW 2013 partner. This can be done by completing the partner submission form. APHA encourages partners and non-partners alike to develop and promote events to be held during NPHW. Events can be submitted here, and will appear on the NPHW 2013 Events Calendar, which displays NPHW events taking place throughout the United States. Those interested in learning more about the possibilities of becoming involved with NPHW are encouraged to browse the NPHW website at, and to read the NPHW 2013 Toolkit and factsheets.

Q: What are some keys to hosting a successful NPHW event?
APHA has created a comprehensive NPHW 2013 toolkit to help those who are interested prepare for NPHW. Section 2 of this toolkit is focused on event planning and offers nine important tips to help prepare and host a successful event, which are as follows: Focus your event; organize a comprehensive speaker and participant list; schedule your event around NPHW activities; be accessible; secure a back-up venue; plan for a back-up speaker; create a “Run of Show”; plan for media interviews and inquiries; and check all audio and visual equipment before the event. Examples and thorough descriptions of each of the above tips are available in section 2 of the NPHW 2013 Toolkit.