Public health professionals are on the frontlines keeping threats to the safety and security of Americans at bay but do they get the recognition they deserve? On the Monday before Thanksgiving, November 21, Research!America and leading public health organizations will honor public health professionals who safeguard Americans in various capacities from tracking and combating disease outbreaks, developing and distributing vaccines, preparing for natural disasters, keeping food and drinking water safe and the air clean.
“We are all vulnerable to communicable and non-communicable diseases, injuries, and other threats to our heath, with the poorest among us disproportionately affected,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. “Today, we salute the millions of public health workers globally – in communities, clinics, research laboratories, health departments and many other settings who have dedicated their lives to helping all the world’s people achieve the highest attainable standard of health. Thank you for your service!”
"Our public health workforce works day in and day out to protect and improve the health of others. Their work affects the lives of Americans in countless ways, from treating and preventing disease outbreaks, to preparing us for natural disasters, to ensuring everyone has access to quality and affordable care," said Georges Benjamin, M.D., executive director of the American Public Health Association (APHA). "Thanks to the efforts of these dedicated professionals, the U.S. is on its way to becoming the healthiest nation in one generation."
“We cannot just afford to focus on what happens in the intersection with the medical system. We really have to face up to the fact that we have more children living in poverty in this country than our peer nations, that children below age five have a higher chance to die in the U.S. than in our peer nations, and what does that mean for prevention? We really have to dedicate a significant amount of effort at identifying how we’re going to move upstream. And there is a movement in the country doing that in public health,” says Hortensia Amaro, Ph.D., associate vice provost for community research initiatives and Dean's Professor of Social Work and Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California, and Research!America board member.
Research!America and PHTYD supporters are highlighting public health themes such as One Health, prevention, mental health and health disparities during the month of November. Visit www.publichealththankyouday.org to learn more and become a partner.