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Week recognizes the importance of putting health equity at the center of public health work

ERIE COUNTY, NY— National Public Health Week takes place from April 4-10, 2022, marking a time to recognize the central role of public health in supporting health and safety for all. This year’s theme from the American Public Health Association (APHA) is “Public Health is Where You Are,” focusing on health equity in our communities.

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) staff direct programs to protect and improve sanitation, detect and prevent the spread of infectious diseases, prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters, and share credible, useful health information. Alongside these crucial, visible functions is a recognition that social determinants of health are inextricably linked to quality of life.

“Public health is a collection of issues that range from controlling the spread of the smallest of viruses to protecting the expanse of our water systems,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “The past two years of a global pandemic have generated a stronger focus on the importance of public health, but the pandemic also exposed serious gaps in our public health and health care infrastructures. Erie County’s Live Well Erie program and the creation of the Office of Health Equity are two initiatives that work directly to close those gaps.”

“Public health has expanded to incorporate the social determinants of health into its plans, policies and practices. To do that, we are listening to vulnerable communities, addressing barriers to health care, and building more resilient health systems,” explained Office of Health Equity Director Kelly Wofford. “We are encouraging Erie County residents to stay engaged in conversations that impact your family’s health and the health of your community. Your input will have an impact.”

ECDOH will be sharing social media content on each of these daily topics for National Public Health Week.

Monday: Racism: A Public Health Crisis

Tuesday: Public Health Workforce: Essential to our Future

Wednesday: Community: Collaboration and Resilience

Thursday: World Health Day: Health is a Human Right

Friday: Accessibility: Closing the Health Equity Gap

Saturday: Climate Change: Taking Action for Equity

Sunday: Mental Wellness: Redefining the Meaning of Health