National Public Health Week: April 3 – 9, 2017

National Public Health Week (NPHW) is a time to promote the benefits of healthy, vibrant communities.  NPHW shines a spotlight on public health – highlighting how far we have come as well as acknowledging how much more we need to do to make healthy living easier where people live, learn, work, and play.

As you know, public health impacts every aspect of our lives and is much more than any one decision.  Our environments – the policies and systems in place – shape our communities and determine our access to healthcare, to nutritious foods and beverages, and to parks and places to be active.

What is NPHW?

In 1995, President Bill Clinton issued a proclamation declaring the first full week of April as National Public Health Week.  Since then, the American Public Health Association (APHA) has coordinated NPHW, highlighting the importance of public health and our shared responsibility to increase positive health outcomes and to decrease health disparities.

The 2017 theme for NPHW is Healthiest Nation 2030: Creating the healthiest nation in one generation.

How does NPHW support our project?

As a member of the Partnering4Health community, you are also part of the national movement to prevent chronic diseases – and we want to elevate your voices and share your experiences.  The work of Partnering4Health is essential to improving health outcomes for residents in your city, your county, or your region.  And, by connecting your project to the national conversation, we hope your work will inspire others to take action, too.

The Parterning4Health project strives to prevent chronic disease and to reduce health disparities in four focus areas:

  • Increasing access to healthy, nutritious foods and beverages;
  • Increasing opportunities for physical activity;
  • Increasing the number of tobacco-free environments;
  • Increasing clinical-community linkages.

Not every Partnering4Health coalition is tackling every focus area, of course.  But, every Partnering4Health coalition will be able to leverage NPHW.

How should I use the information in this packet?

The information included in this packet is intended to help you work with your members and community leaders to engage the overall community in discussion and action on improving health. The packet includes information that can help individuals and community partners be aware of the role they play in improving community health. There are also helpful tips and strategies that they can implement to improve their individual health. Many of these strategies and initiatives focus on research and facts about how our environment and behavioral choices affect our health.

Mostly, the information in this packet is intended to help spark a conversation about the impacts of health that are all around us.

How do we take action?

Here are a few ways to take action and to make the connection between your work and NPHW:

  • Use this packet to raise awareness about the Partnering4Health project in your community. You are part of a national movement to prevent chronic diseases – share the news with residents, media, businesses, and leaders!
  • Add information about active living, healthy eating, tobacco-free environments, and/or clinical-community linkages to your newsletter, website, blog, or social media profile.
  • Become a NPHW partner and become part of Generation Public Health, APHA’s movement to create the healthiest nation in one generation.  In recognition, APHA will list your organization as a supporting partner on both the NPHW and Generation Public Health

  • Celebrate NPHW with a special event – or join an event that is already happening in your community:

Check out the NPHW events calendar and interactive map for more information: http://www.nphw.org/events.

Use the NPHW toolkit to plan your own celebration: http://www.nphw.org/tools-and-tips/toolkit

 Submit your event to the NPHW calendar: http://www.nphw.org/events/submit-an-event 

  • Join the national events and forums happening during NPHW!

NPHW Forum – Please join us for the NPHW Forum to kick-off the week’s activities on April 3 at 1 pm EDT.  This event will be webcast for participation globally.  Check out the NPHW event page for registration details and the list of panelists.

NPHW Twitter Chat – This year, APHA will host its sixth annual NPHW Twitter Chat on April 5 at 2 pm EDT.  Follow @NPHW to learn more about the NPHW 2017 Twitter Chat!  Use the official hashtag, #NPHWchat, in your tweets so users can easily search for what you and others are saying during the event.  Check out the NPHW event page for the RSVP and for more details regarding the #NPHWchat!

How do we talk about NPHW?

When communicating with community members, leaders, and partners, it’s important to be ready to talk about the issues. Here are two basic themes: investing in the healthiest nation and public health in all policies.  Tailor your specific messages to connect to your Partnering4Health project and to educate your audience about the public health facts below. The 1 Billion Steps Challenge is a great way to get your audience involved in and thinking about physical activity.

Investing in public health.  By spending more money on prevention of chronic diseases, we can improve the health of every American.

Public health in all policies.  Many factors impact the health of an individual. By addressing these broader issues, we improve health overall.

Check out another infographic from APHA about the effects of education, poverty, and other factors that create health inequities in the United States: https://www.apha.org/what-is-public-health/generation-public-health/take-action/can-we-become-the-healthiest-nation

Check out this short video from APHA for compelling statistics related to all focus areas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5M9JefYxJI

Or, share the PHI’s Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Government publication: http://www.phi.org/resources/?resource=hiapguide

Key facts[1]

  • During the first half of 2015, about 2,368 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions — a 10 percent increase over the same time period in 2014. Adults and children living in low-income communities and communities of color, where sidewalks and streets are more likely to be poorly maintained, face a much higher likelihood of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.
  • More than 23 million people in the U.S. live in a “food desert” where they don’t have access to healthy and affordable food.
  • Today, nearly one in three U.S. kids are either overweight or obese and at risk of developing a chronic illness such as heart disease or diabetes. Obesity presents a health equity challenge as well, as it negatively affects some populations more than others.
  • More than 30 percent of direct medical costs faced by blacks, Hispanics and Asian-Americans can be tied to health inequities. Because of inequitable access to care and other health-promoting resources, these populations are often sicker when they do find a source of care and incur higher medical costs. That 30 percent translates to more than $230 billion over a four-year period.
  • 75 percent of our health care costs are related to preventable conditions like obesity and behaviors like tobacco use. Yet less than 3 percent of our health care spending is focused on prevention. Prevention investments are more than a smart use of public dollars — they also save lives. In fact, every 10 percent increase in funding for community-based health programs is estimated to reduce deaths due to preventable causes by up to 7 percent.
  • Health inequities related to income and access to insurance exists across demographic lines, but population-based disparities are impossible to deny. For example, black women are more than twice as likely to die during pregnancy compared to white women, and Hispanics are 65 percent more likely to have diabetes than whites.

Please visit www.nphw.org for additional fact sheets and more information.

And, don’t forget to use your local data!  As part of your Partnering4Health project, your health needs assessment data has informed your choice of interventions and strategies – and remember to share those facts with your community.  National data may offer a helpful overview or provide a benchmark for your own progress, but numbers from your own community about your own residents are very powerful.


How do we keep the conversation going?

Keeping your community members, coalition partners, and local leaders informed throughout NPHW is important to maintaining momentum around the national health observance – and your project.  Please feel free to use or modify any of the social media or newsletter content below.

Remember to consider your audience.  Community members may not be familiar with public health jargon – and community leaders or partners may want to understand how their organizations will benefit from engaging in your work.  The tweets and Facebook posts below are divided by audience, but you know your communities best.  Consider what would be meaningful in your project areas.


In addition to the sample tweets below, create your own tweets to show how your organization promotes the health topics related to NPHW. Tailor tweets to the specific audience you are trying to reach.  Consider including local resources and tweeting about events in your area, too.

Pro tip: Remember to follow others, re-tweet, and like other tweets!  Twitter isn’t just about getting your message out there.  It’s also about engaging with others.

Sample Tweets for Reaching Community Members

  • Did you know your zip code impacts your health? Learn more from @CHRankings #HealthRankings #NPHW #Partnering4Health
  • Eat for a Healthy Heart http://bit.ly/1mRAnfC #Partnering4Health #NPHW #EatforaHealthyHeart
  • Bike, jump, skip, or run to your local park to celebrate #NPHW
  • Get your heart the exercise it needs. Join the 1 Billion Steps Challenge with @NPHW to get moving! #1BillionSteps #NPHW
  • This #NPHW, have a smoke-free spring and protect your neighbors from second-hand smoke #Partnering4Health

Sample Tweets for Reaching Community Leaders and Partners

  • Where you live impacts your health. This #NPHW learn how #Partnering4Health partners are making healthier places – http://bit.ly/1JkpOKe
  • Farmers’ markets, corner stores, community gardens. How are you bringing healthy food to your community? #NPHW #Partnering4Health
  • Safe Routes to #Parks: It’s not just about the green space – it’s how you get there. Check out the Safe Routes to Parks website. #NPHW
  • Join New Orleans and be a smoke-free city. #NPHW #Partnering4Health
  • #CompleteStreets can help empower people to visit their doctor, instead of visiting the ER in an ambulance. #NPHW #Partnering4Health


In addition to the sample posts below, create posts that highlight how your coalition is working to prevent chronic disease.  Tailor posts to the specific audience you are trying to reach. Consider including local resources, too.

Pro tip: Try to post at least one a day on your Facebook page.  Keeping your page up-to-date lets your community members know that you are listening – and active!

Sample Facebook Posts for Reaching Community Members

  • This National Public Health Week focuses on creating the healthiest nation in one generation. Many things impact your health; your zip code, education, and income to name a few. Join APHA as we work on our central challenge to “Create the Healthiest Nation in One Generation.” Join Generation Public Health to find out how you can help. #NPHW
  • Walking to school should be safe and easy. This #NPHW, consider starting a walking school bus for the children in your community. Check out the #SafeRoutesToSchool work underway in Columbus and Summit County Ohio #Plan4Health coalitions.
  • Health impacts every aspect of our lives – which means #NPHW has something for everyone! Check out the NPHW fact sheets and find the public health issue you’re passionate about.

Sample Facebook Posts for Reaching Community Leaders and Partners

  • This #NPHW make it easier for community gardens to grow! Consider developing a process for residents to turn a vacant lot into a community garden, like the Plan4Health Summit County coalition http://bit.ly/1U9UIQh
  • Are you a school principal? Consider opening your school gym or playground to community members.  Shared use is an easy way to increase opportunities for physical activity. Learn more here http://bit.ly/1ZtPHSl
  • Which health issues impact American communities? What can you do to keep your town healthy? Learn more about the large disparities in health that exist between race, income levels & location #NPHW


NPHW: Healthiest Nation 2030

We’re just weeks away from National Public Health Week (NPHW) 2017 and we hope you’re getting excited!  This year’s NPHW will take place from April 3-9.  We are celebrating NPHW and bringing together communities across the U.S. to recognize the contributions of public health and educate the community on important issues for improving the health of our nation.

To change the culture of health, we need to move outside the domain of health care and address a complex web of social and environmental factors to make healthy living easier where people live, learn, work, and play.  Solutions include expanding options for active transportation, supporting safe and accessible spaces for play and exercise, offering more nutritious school meals, creating more high school graduates, and placing more emphasis on preventing chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Here are a few ways to take action and to make the connection between your work and NPHW:

  • Check out the NPHW website for many great resources available to help you get involved in this year’s NPHW. Make sure to look through the toolkit, review the facts for the week and check out the calendar of events to see what’s going on in your community and across the country.
    • We encourage you to become a partner and submit your NPHW event so that others may join you in your efforts to help us become the healthiest nation in one generation!
  • Stay tuned to the NPHW Calendar Page for information and updates on this year’s NPHW activities. These activities are a great way to have fun and get involved in NPHW. Don’t miss out!
  • Stay connected with NPHW by following us on Twitter. Here you can stay up-to-date on what’s going on and get more information on upcoming NPHW events!
    • Make sure to join us for our sixth annual NPHW Twitter Chat! This event will be held on Wednesday, April 5, at 2 pm ET. RSVP online and use the official NPHW hashtag, #NPHWChat to join this conversation.

Thanks for helping us make America the healthiest nation in one generation!

Are other resources available?

Additional NPHW resources include:


[1] All sources for statistics are available at www.nphw.org.