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Public Health Thank You Day, November 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC-November 15, 2012-On the Monday before Thanksgiving, Research!America and leading U.S. public health organizations  recognize public health professionals who work tirelessly every day to protect the health of all Americans.

Public Health Thank You Day 2012 honors all those unsung heroes who keep our drinking water safe and air clean, develop vaccines, track and contain deadly illnesses  and aid victims of devastating natural disasters. These everyday heroes include health inspectors, environmental health scientists, public health researchers, sanitation workers and many other dedicated workers.

"In recent weeks, the nation's public health response has been put to a tremendous test. First, with the multistate meningitis outbreak that resulted in both illnesses and deaths, followed closely by Hurricane Sandy, which had a devastating impact on much of the Northeastern United States," said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Thomas R. Frieden MD, MPH. "These public health emergencies highlight the dedication of our public health heroes and responders.  As we observe Public Health Thank You Day, I am deeply grateful for their commitment, preparedness and constant vigilance to stand ready to keep our nation safe from public health threats."

In the recent meningitis outbreak, the CDC played a critical role identifying possible sources of contamination, tracking cases and communicating updates to citizens. During the height of Hurricane Sandy, the CDC provided emergency assistance and medical care to those affected, including food and water, medical supplies to prevent and treat injuries, clean-up and sanitation and mental health resources.

"On this special day let's thank all of those heroes who work nonstop in often perilous conditions to ensure the health and well-being of their neighbors and all Americans," said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. "As we recover from the meningitis outbreak and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, more than ever we see the value of a strong investment in public health. American taxpayers get their money's worth from supporting the CDC and its initiatives to fight and prevent health threats."

Research!America's Public Health Thank You Day partners include the Campaign for Public Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association, Association of Schools of Public Health, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, National Association of County & City Health Officials, and the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.

Organizations wishing to celebrate Public Health Thank You Day can find downloadable web banners and ads, communication tools, poll findings and a Facebook group at www.publichealththankyouday.org.

Research!America is the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, it is supported by member organizations that represent more than 125 million Americans. For more information, visit www.researchamerica.org.

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