Statement by Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh, MD, MPH During National Public Health Week
April 6, 2010 - This April 5-11, we observe the 16th National Public Health Week. We are particularly delighted to celebrate this observance as the Nation moves toward implementing health reform, expanding access to health care, and strengthening health security for all across the country.
This year's National Public Health Week theme is "A Healthier America: One Community at a Time." The theme underscores the almost inseparable bond linking healthy individuals and healthy communities to a healthy Nation. This week, we can reaffirm our dedication to building the strongest communities possible by helping people to support one another in the health aspects of daily life; engaging new partners outside the traditional health sector to promote health; and promoting disease prevention.
Healthy communities can improve the quality of life for all who live, work, worship, learn, and play there-so that every person can make healthier choices amid a variety of accessible and affordable options.
The options for action are endless. In the crucial area of obesity prevention, for example, families can make more time to be physically active together; schools can provide better health education and food options; community members can help neighborhoods be more friendly to pedestrians; and community leaders can establish better policies for access to nutritious foods and neighborhood parks and facilities. We can create public health success stories across the country, because a healthier nation starts in our communities.
So this week offers a time to reflect on how you can become a champion for public health-- not just for you and your family but also for your community at large.
Thank you for your willingness to make a difference, for National Public Health Week and beyond!