APHA is giving a shoutout to the public health workforce for their dedication, innovation and hard work this Public Health Thank You Day — and is calling on others to do the same.

Organized annually by Research!America, Public Health Thank You Day encourages people to show their gratitude to the public health workers who labor tirelessly year round to protect Americans from disease, injury and other health threats.

“I am humbled, inspired and awed by the work public health professionals do every day in states, counties and communities across the country,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, APHA executive director. “There are few people more committed to helping others live their healthiest lives than the public health workforce. They are true heroes, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”Thank You Public Health Professionals

Although public health is essential in everyday life — from preventing injuries, protecting people from disease and promoting healthy lives to ensuring clean water, air and access to health care for all — it is often overlooked. While the COVID-19 pandemic brought more awareness to public health, it also brought considerable strain. Recognizing workers for their contributions can go a long way to boosting their well-being.

“During the most challenging health crisis of our time, public health scientists, staff and clinicians have been at the forefront of research programs and implementation of public health strategies to improve minority health and reduce health disparities,” said Eliseo Pérez-Stable, MD, director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. “We recognize and appreciate their sacrifice and diligence in helping all communities.”

APHA is also using Public Health Thank You Day as an opportunity to thank its thousands of member volunteers, who serve on its boards and committees, review abstracts, plan APHA Annual Meeting sessions and more. Without their work, the Association would not nearly be as strong or effective, according to APHA immediate past President Kaye Bender. 

“President Bill Clinton once said that volunteering is an act of heroism on a grand scale,” Bender said in a new thank you video released this week. “It does more than help people beat the odds, it changes the odds. I'm confident with our volunteers that we have changed the odds for many people — and we still have work to do. So thank you for your work, and thank you for what you will do in the future.”

Public health supporters can show their gratitude through APHA’s social media shareables and Research!America’s Public Health Thank You Day toolkit, which has sample social media posts and more.

Research!America is also hosting a Public Health Thank You Day webinar at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time Monday. The free event features a discussion with Sarah Despres, JD, counselor for public health and science at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and registration is now open.