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Defense Public Health Kicks Off National Public Health Week

Image of Defense Public Health Kicks Off National Public Health Week. The Department of Defense will join with other public health officials across the globe to celebrate National Public Health Week April 1–7. This year’s theme is “Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We Are All Public Health.” Across the DHA public health experts are sharing best practices with DHA beneficiaries on how to promote a healthy lifestyle. (Defense Health Agency Public Health graphic illustration by Jason Embrey)

Public health officials from across DHA Public Health will host several activities this week in observance of National Public Health Week, April 1–7.

Celebrated annually by the American Public Health Association, NPHW is an opportunity to honor the contributions of public health officials across the world, and to educate society on how to build and sustain their own good health.

This year’s theme for NPHW is “Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We Are All Public Health.” Across DHA Public Health, experts are sharing best practices with DHA beneficiaries on how to promote a healthy lifestyle.

“Prevention is the best way to health,” said U.S. Public Health Service Rear Adm. Brandon Taylor, DHA public health director. “Rather than treating individuals when they are ill, public health aims to prevent our DOD community from getting sick in the first place.”

In addition to the overall theme for NPHW, there is a dedicated daily theme to one area of Public Health reflecting the NPHW theme.

These daily themes are:

  • Monday, April 1; Civic Engagement.
  • Tuesday, April 2: Healthy Neighborhoods.
  • Wednesday, April 3: Climate Change.
  • Thursday, April 4: Reproductive and Sexual Health.
  • Friday, April 5: New Tools and Innovations.
  • Saturday, April 6: Emergency Preparedness.
  • Sunday, April 7: Future of Public Health.

Across DHA, multiple events are underway to commemorate NPHW.

Public health activities include several online lunch seminars to discuss the various public health topics and a blood drive at the Defense Health Headquarters. There are also public health walks scheduled at the various Defense Centers for Public Health. DHA employees can expect to see messaging from DHA PH leadership, NPHW commemorative banner stands in DHA buildings, and social media posts on the contributions of public health professionals.

Public health leaders emphasize that although NPHW ends April 7, the good work of public health continues year-round.

“Since the first inoculations were developed, public health has been integral to DOD forces,” said Sean Friendly, deputy director of DHA Public Health. “We want to ensure our force remains fit and ready for the future.”

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