By Dr Stephanie Paulmeno, DNP, IA, NHA, CPH, CCM, CDP Public Well being Promotion Specialist, Greenwich Division of Well being
Nationwide Public Well being Week is well known every year through the first full week of April. Every day is dedicated to a distinct public well being downside.
In what yr may this be extra related than now! All through the week, public well being points are highlighted, public well being collaborators are acknowledged, and the general public is knowledgeable concerning the many aspects of public well being, inhabitants and group.
Public well being encompasses individuals, animals, birds and fish; the fauna and the flora; and the atmosphere during which all of us reside. It is just like the tune by Pocahontas that reminded us that “we’re all linked in a circle in a loop that by no means ends”.
We reside in a time when the cruel actuality of public well being has hit our nation laborious. We’re usually oblivious to public well being actions. They’re occurring behind the scenes. When all is effectively, public well being is invisible.
The pandemic has introduced our important public well being personnel to the forefront. We reap its advantages in public well being recommendation. We see it via the work of virologists who’re increasing their data about viruses, how they modify, and the way we will flip them off. We marvel on the work of scientists, pharmacists and healthcare suppliers who work tirelessly to create vaccines and coverings, to grasp the human response to catastrophic illness, to supply assist and luxury, and to maintain us going. life regardless of ourselves. We see public well being in motion from our first contact with first responders; it’s discovered all over the place we care and the place life generally ends. However public well being goes far past that. It really works in meals institutions and in websites that maintain our water, soil and air clear.
Its influence is seen in the way in which colleges, laboratories and healthcare amenities are regulated and monitored; all are protected via public well being measures. We are actually seeing the influence of public well being each day within the information, in COVID testing websites and vaccination clinics, in addition to in monitoring and mapping our rising unfold of the coronavirus, which has seen a rise in 43% based mostly on a 2 week development (NPR.org, 3.5.21).
Though state and native well being departments are the designated leaders of public well being, they don’t act alone. Somewhat, they’re designated public well being authorities at federal, state and native ranges; the US Public Well being Service of the Division of Human Providers, the Connecticut Division of Public Well being and, right here on the town, the Greenwich Division of Well being. United Means Greenwich cites the Greenwich Division of Well being because the lead company for public well being emergency planning not just for Greenwich however for the realm of the state that features Greenwich. The Greenwich Division of Well being has a decades-long historical past of pandemic planning for the group and for nursing properties, in addition to making a written plan for mass immunizations. You possibly can see the follow is flawless within the well-run COVID-19 clinics and the very heavy contact tracing efforts, all of that are carried out along with the routine work that includes all “important public well being providers” each day.
If the pandemic has taught us something, it is that our public well being infrastructure must be strengthened. Public well being has lengthy been understaffed and underfunded. The Nationwide Affiliation of Public Well being identified that lower than 3% of well being spending is spent on public well being. That is vital as a result of we now have a rising have to replenish our well being workforce. Our well being care supply system is rife with disparities that influence well being outcomes. Our public well being system have to be strengthened to arrange for future public well being emergencies. It won’t be our final pandemic and it’ll not be our final public well being disaster.
This week, the Nationwide Public Well being Affiliation (www.nphw.org/nphw-2021) calls consideration to rebuilding our public well being infrastructure, enhancing racial fairness and strengthening communities by addressing the “social determinants of well being”. It additionally tackles local weather change, improves our resilience to COVID-19, addresses gaps in our strategy to psychological well being and wellness, and improves the situation of our important workforce and well being.
Public Well being is an unlimited community of public, personal and municipal businesses, in addition to volunteers, like our core Greenwich Medical Reserve and the Greenwich Pink Cross, all working collectively to enhance our lives and our well being. Completely happy Nationwide Public Well being Week to this group of unsung heroes!
Additionally by Stephanie Paulmeno, DNP, RN, NHA, CPH, CCM, CDP Public Well being Training Specialist / Greenwich Division of Well being
Behind the Scenes: COVID-19 and Your Greenwich Division of Well being