National Public Health Week: April 7-13, 2014

Friday, April 11 - Be the healthiest nation in one generationFriday, April 11: Be the healthiest nation in one generation.  For the first time in decades, the current generation isn’t as healthy as the one that came before. Communities need to band together to take a stance against this disturbing trend to make sure children and young adults have bright, healthy futures.

Did you know?

  • The U.S. spends more on health care than any other country, with such costs rising tenfold from 1980 to 2010 and expected to rise faster than national income during the foreseeable future. However, investing just $10 per person each year in proven, community-based public health efforts could save the nation more than $16 billion within five years.
  • By 2020, the direct benefits of the federal Clean Air Act will have reached almost $2 trillion, much more than the $65 billion it will have cost to implement the law. About 85 percent of the $2 trillion is attributable to decreases in premature death and illness related to air pollution.

Albany County Department of Health Starts Here:

  • There are numerous ways that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will benefit specific populations such as children and parents, childless adults, the elderly, women, low-income individuals and families, LGBT individuals and families, racial and ethnic minorities and others. The ACA will also benefit small businesses, health care providers, and states. Visit the New York State of Health website to find out how you can benefit.  http://www.healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov/

Thursday, April 10 - Eat wellThursday, April 10: Eat well. The system that keeps our nation’s food safe and healthy is complex. There is a lot of information to parse in order to understand food labels and purchase healthy, affordable food.

Did you know?

  • The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other government agencies to revise the dietary guidelines for release in 2015.
  • In total, we are now eating 31 percent more calories than we were 40 years ago — including 56 percent more fats and oils and 14 percent more sugars and sweeteners. The average American now eats 15 more pounds of sugar a year than in 1970.
  • USDA led efforts to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, legislation that paves the way to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for nearly 32 million children who eat school lunch each day and the 12 million who eat breakfast at school.

Albany County Department of Health Starts Here:

  • Albany County passed a menu labeling law in 2010 to enable consumers to make more informed decisions while dining out.
  • The Albany County Strategic Alliance for Health supports the Healthy Convenience Store Initiative, offering affordable produce in locations throughout the City of Albany.  For a list of current stores, visit Capital District Community Gardens at http://www.cdcg.org/programs/healthy-convenience-store-initiative
  • The Albany County Strategic Alliance for Health promotes the use of healthy meeting and healthy vending policies, as well as tobacco-free grounds policies for workplaces. 

Wednesday, April 9 - Get out aheadWednesday, April 9: Get out ahead. Prevention is now a nationwide priority, and as the public health system evolves, there are more options than ever when it comes to preventive health measures.

Did you know?

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1,144,500 people ages 13 and older are living with HIV infection, including 180,900, or 15.8 percent, who are unaware of their infection. Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable.
  • Today, seven in 10 deaths in the U.S. are related to preventable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. Another striking fact is that 75 percent of our health care dollars are spent treating such diseases. However, only 3 percent of our health care dollars go toward prevention. 
  • Among adults who smoke, 68 percent began smoking regularly at age 18 or younger, and 85 percent started when they were 21 or younger. The average age of daily smoking initiation for new smokers in 2008 was 20.1 years among those ages 12-49. 

Albany County Department of Health Starts Here:

  • Albany County Department of Health has a walk-in STD clinic for Albany County residents.  Call (518) 447-4589 for more information.
  • Albany County Department of Health participates in various campaigns that address tobacco cessation and reducing tobacco marketing to youth including Kick Butts Day and the Great American Smoke Out. For help quitting, call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NYQUITS or visit www.nysmokefree.com.
  • Albany County Department of Health works with schools to introduce physical activity bursts into the classroom, as well as offer education on physical activity, nutrition and the health risks of tobacco use. 

Tuesday, April 8 - Don't panicTuesday, April 8: Don’t panic. Disaster preparedness starts with community-wide commitment and action. Public health professionals help communities withstand the impact of a natural or man-made disaster by planning ahead, acting as a source of information during the crisis and helping to mitigate the long- and short-term effects.

Did you know?

    • Most communities may be affected by several types of hazards during a lifetime. Every year, thousands of people are affected by severe weather threats, such as tornadoes, floods, snowstorms and severe thunderstorms.
    • Each year, more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States, with direct property loss due to home fires estimated at $7.3 billion annually.
    • Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe.  Make sure everyone in your household gets a flu vaccine every year. 

Albany County Department of Health Starts Here:

  • Albany County Department of Health wants you to be Registered and Ready. Gather your household for a night of emergency preparedness: make plans for putting together an emergency stockpile kit, create a crisis communication plan, designate an emergency meeting place and hold household emergency drills.  http://www.registeredandready.com/home.aspx
  • Local public health systems keep communities healthy, such as keeping our food and water safe.  Albany County Department of Health regulates restaurants, tattoo/piercing parlors, hotels/motels, pools/beaches, and children’s camps, so you can live and play safely.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step toward protecting against this serious disease.  Every year, Albany County Department of Health offers flu vaccines to Albany County residents. 

Monday, April 7 - Be healthy from the start Monday, April 7: Be healthy from the start. From prenatal care to maternal and child health, public health starts early.

Did you know?

  • Breastfeeding is recommended for at least the first year of a child’s life, and exclusively for the first 6 months. Longer durations of breastfeeding are associated with better long-term health outcomes for both mothers and babies.
  • Prenatal care can help keep mothers and their babies healthy. Mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a baby with low birth weight than those who do.
  • Globally, an estimated 43 million preschool children were overweight or obese in 2010, a 60 percent increase since 1990. And children’s early-life experiences, such as lack of breast feeding, too-little sleep and too-much television can increase the risk of obesity later in life.

Albany County Department of Health Starts Here:

  • The most effective way to encourage prenatal care and breastfeeding among soon-to-be or new mothers is through education.  Albany County Department of Health Maternal Child Health nurses and Community Health Workers support pregnant mothers and parenting families throughout Albany County to ensure better health outcomes for mothers and babies.
  • Children ages 2 through 18 who are residents of Albany County can take advantage of Albany County Department of Health’s Dental Clinic for low-cost dental care.  Call (518) 447-4587 to make an appointment. 
  • Lead poisoning poses a health risk to children. Albany County Department of Health offers lead inspections for homes in limited zip codes in the City of Albany (12202, 12206, 12208, 12209, and 12210).  Call (518) 447-4620 to find out if your home is eligible.