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PHI puts focus on National Public Health Week: Creating healthy communities theme promotes big and small changes

April 05, 2010

In observance of National Public Health Week from April 5 to 11, the Public Health Institute (PHI) encourages all Americans to promote good health by making big and small changes in their communities, from planting a fruit tree in the yard to starting a walking group with co-workers and advocating to remove trans-fats from school menus. By acting family by family, neighborhood by neighborhood, school by school and workplace by workplace, we can create healthier communities and build a healthier nation.

National Public Health Week is led by the American Public Health Association (APHA), and its theme this year is "A Healthier America: One Community at a Time." APHA, the largest organization of public health professionals in the world, aims for the U.S. to become the healthiest country in one generation. APHA president Carmen Nevarez, MD, is PHI's vice president for external relations and preventive medicine advisor.

President Bill Clinton proclaimed the first National Public Health Week in 1995, and the week has been celebrated annually ever since, drawing attention to important public health issues in the United States.PHI is proud of its many programs that each day contribute to the prevention of disease and promotion of good health. In keeping with the 2010 theme for National Public Health Week, we have assembled a list of a few of PHI's community-based programs that specifically promote healthy choices and actions one community at a time:

  • Administered by PHI, the Network for a Healthy California helps low-income parents and children prevent obesity and diet-related chronic diseases through social marketing campaigns. These media campaigns influence families and whole communities to make changes that support healthy eating and physical activity. To learn more about the Network, visit www.networkforahealthycalifornia.net.
  • The Partnership for the Public's Health (PPH) at PHI has worked with dozens of communities throughout California to improve food and fitness environments since 1999. PPH fosters partnerships and builds capacity to create policy and environmental change to lift up communities where health inequities are prevalent. To find out more, visit www.partnershipph.org.
  • PHI's RAMP (the Regional Asthma Management and Prevention Initiative) supports and develops interventions to reduce asthma triggers in homes, schools and outdoor air. To learn more about ways RAMP works to reduce asthma disparities among communities in the Bay Area and beyond, visit www.rampasthma.org.
  • California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition) at PHI works together with local communities to reduce the prevalence of obesity and other chronic diseases. Project LEAN provides technical assistance, training and tools to engage school board members, parents and youth in their communities to bring about place-based solutions that support good health. Project LEAN also co-hosts the nation's leading conference on childhood obesity. To find out more, visit www.californiaprojectlean.org.
  • The Public Health Law & Policy (PHLP) program at PHI partners with government staff, advocates and other community leaders to provide practical solutions to a wide range of public health problems. From childhood obesity prevention to tobacco control and climate change issues, PHLP provides legal technical assistance to local communities on policies that promote healthy nutrition and increased physical activity options and protects people from secondhand smoke. To learn more about PHLP, visit www.phlpnet.org.
  • The Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) at PHI is a regional coalition representing nine public health departments working together to create healthy communities across the Bay Area and bridge the gaps between socio-economic levels. To find out more, visit www.barhii.org.
  • More than 70 communities in California have participated in the Center for Civic Partnerships' (CCP) Healthy Cities and Communities program. Healthy Cities is a grassroots movement that mobilizes communities to improve health through environmental changes. CCP provides local governments and community-based organizations with training, technical expertise and the tools they need to build healthier communities. For more information about CCP, visit www.civicpartnerships.org.

Innovation, research, training, policy development and best practices are embedded in PHI programs. To learn more about National Public Health Week, see the APHA Web site at http://www.nphw.org/nphw10/home1.htm.