Help Us Create the Healthiest Nation During National Public Health Week, April 4-10

Georges C. Benjamin, M.D.

Despite the tremendous improvements in health we’ve made in the 20th century, Americans live shorter lives and suffer worse health outcomes than people in many other high-income countries. 

That’s why this week, during National Public Health Week, the American Public Health Association, Research America and hundreds of partners across the country are rallying around a goal of making the U.S. the Healthiest Nation in One Generation — by 2030. We're building a national movement of people, communities and organizations working to ensure conditions where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy.

While maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having access to health insurance are critical components toward reaching our goal, we also know that they are only part of a much bigger picture. A growing body of research also tells us that social and environmental determinants — such as education, income, housing and childhood trauma — not only shape people’s risk of disease and poor health throughout their lifetimes, but help shape the risk of disease and poor health into the next generation.

Together, we’re working to create a new groundswell of support for the changes that must be made within our health system to realize this goal. And we underscore the critical need to invest in health research that will help lead to new discoveries and new interventions that improve the health of our communities.

Changing our health means ensuring conditions that give everyone the opportunity to be healthy, and joining us this week is a great place to start. There are several ways you can take part. 

>> Sign the pledge to help create the healthiest nation. Join us in supporting efforts to improve the factors that affect everyone's health and limit the ability for many people to make healthy choices.

>> Register to take part in today’s National Public Health Week opening forum: Creating the Healthiest Nation by 2030, Monday, April 4, at 1 p.m. EDT. APHA President Camara Jones, Aetna Foundation President Garth Graham, and Magi Linscott, 2014 Advocate of the Year, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, will have a lively discussion on how we can become the healthiest nation by 2030.
  
>> Join health leaders in our National Public Health Week Twitter chat Wednesday, April 6, at 2 p.m. EDT. We’ll cover the health impacts of the environment, gun violence, high school graduation and other social determinants of health. Sign up online or follow #NPHWchat to join the conversation.

>> Hang out with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Friday, April 8, at 2 p.m. EDT. This is a special opportunity for public health students to chat with our nation’s top doc and brainstorm on how to improve the health of our country. Register to join us in a Google Hangout.

Join us as we celebrate National Public Health Week. Together, we can build a movement to make the U.S. the healthiest nation.

Georges C. Benjamin, MD, is the executive director of the American Public Health Association (APHA)

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You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter