Susan E. Birch: ‘A Healthier America’
To the editor:
Please observe National Public Health Week 2010 with us from April 5 through 11.
This year, the American Public Health Association’s theme is “A Healthier America: One Community at a Time.”
Public Health, an essential regional service, is provided by the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, a local non-profit agency. If every one of us commits to promoting good health in our communities, we can create a ripple effect in Northwest Colorado.
Everyone can play a part in helping others stay healthy. Even small actions at the community level can make a difference:
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Encourage children to bike or walk to school — increasing their activity levels.
Take just a moment to receive (or give) a vaccination. It can be a life-saver.
Businesses are part of the solution, too. Workplace nutrition and physical activity programs successfully contribute to weight loss and improve body mass index among employees.
Simply sending an e-mail can lower smoking rates. Those who receive peer encouragement via e-mail or text are significantly more likely to stop smoking and smoke less often than those who don’t receive such encouragement.
Each of these small changes starts with someone like you who is committed to improving the health of his or her community.
Communities that emphasize prevention and encourage healthy behaviors help stop health problems before they start. Do your part by motivating our community to eat better, encouraging families to get vaccinations and screenings from clinics, and teaching kids the importance of clean hands. Be a public health champion.
Susan E. Birch
Chief executive officer, Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association
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