April 1-7 is National Public Health Week. The theme for NPHW this year highlights the return on investment we all get from public health initiatives. Resources from the American Public Health Association outline a unique focus for each day this week to show how multifaceted public health issues are impacting our lives at home, at school, in the workplace, while we travel and in our communities.
How does public health help you?
With rapidly rising medical care costs, controlling this area of both our national and personal budgets is a key concern. Not to mention the improvement to our quality of life that results from healthier individuals and communities.
- Public health research has shown that an investment of $10 per person each year into community-based, effective public health efforts could save America more than $16 billion over the next five years. That’s a return of $5.60 for every $1 invested in public health!
- For every dollar invested in poison centers, there is a savings of $13.39 in both medical costs and lost productivity.
- Screening the 4 million infants born each year for congenital hypothyroidism — a $5 test to determine if the thyroid is not producing enough hormones critical for physical and mental development—prevents 160 cases of intellectual disability. This reduces the burden on their parents and the health care system to support them while they are growing up and often into adulthood, not to mention it provides the opportunity for each of these children to reach their full potential.
Continued investment in public health research and initiatives is critical. Public health saves lives by promoting safety and personal health and increasing awareness for health issues in our communities. Visit the National Public Health Week website today to learn more about public health initiatives and what they mean for you. You can also connect with Research!America member APHA on Facebook and Twitter.
Later this week, join Research!America and APHA on Twitter chat using #NPHWchat to discuss the role of public health in your life. And save the date for Public Health Thank You Day: November 25, 2013 and be sure to read about a few public health heroes.