This year’s National Public Health Week observance is different than any APHA has led before.

And after more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that the public health landscape has changed. 2020 showed us just how crucial public health is. During NPHW, which begins today and runs through April 11, we're focusing on ways to make public health even stronger.

Our NPHW theme is “Building Bridges to Better Health.” We know that there’s no one solution for the many public health crises we face. And we know that the systems we had in place until now are not only broken, but in some ways never served everyone at all. And so today we focus Monday’s daily theme, “Rebuilding,” not on where we were before the pandemic, but on new equity-focused systems. Worker adjusting water pipe

We’re focused on getting more funding for public health so we can do our jobs effectively. We’re including racial equity in everything we do. We’re removing barriers to the things people need to not just survive, but thrive: healthy food, quality education, safe homes and secure jobs with a living wage and paid sick leave. We’re taking steps to not just mitigate climate change, but to protect those most affected by its harms. And we’re building resilience: for COVID-19, for mental health and wellness, and for our most essential workers.

APHA is hosting events every day of NPHW, from our family trivia night on Tuesday to Zumba and yoga classes over the weekend. Check out all of our events and make plans to attend. Don’t miss today’s kickoff forum event, livestreaming on at 1 p.m. EDT. Grassroots organizers will be talking about how they lead the charge for public health.

I hope you’ll join us every day of NPHW. Public health needs the public to join if we’re going to be the healthiest nation. Let’s work together to build those bridges, and create a healthier, better world for all of us.  

Lindsey Wahowiak is APHA’s director of Affiliate affairs.

(Photo by Avatar_023, courtesy iStockphoto)

Watch and share: APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, kicks off NPHW with a message on the importance of building bridges to better health.