Public Health Week is April 5-11. Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play.

While a doctor treats people who are sick, those of us working in public health try to prevent people from getting sick or injured in the first place. We also promote wellness by encouraging healthy behaviors.

People in the field of public health work to assure the physical and environmental health of all residents in their city, county or state jurisdictions. That can mean vaccinating children and adults to prevent the spread of disease. Or educating people about the risks of alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drug use. Public health sets safety standards to protect workers and develops school nutrition programs to ensure kids have access to healthy food.

Public health works to track disease outbreaks, prevent injuries and shed light on why some of us are more likely to suffer from poor health than others. The many facets of public health include speaking out for laws that promote smoke-free indoor air and seatbelts, spreading the word about ways to stay healthy, and giving science-based solutions to problems.

In the midst of the most challenging public health crisis of our lifetimes, and now the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination effort against this deadly virus, it’s more appropriate than ever to have a week to thank Public Health professionals for all they do.

Public health saves money, improves our quality of life, helps children thrive and reduces human suffering. (click for a great graphic about Public Health)

Some examples of the many fields of public health:

  • First responders
  • Restaurant inspectors
  • Health educators
  • Scientists and researchers
  • Nutritionists
  • Community planners
  • Social workers
  • Epidemiologists
  • Public health physicians
  • Public health nurses
  • Occupational health and safety professionals
  • Public policymakers
  • Sanitarians