National Public Health Week (NPHW) recognizes and celebrates public health professionals in the nation. April 3-9, 2023, marks the 28th NPHW organized by the American Public Health Association (APHA). This year’s theme is “Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health.”
IPHI acknowledges community health care needs can vary based on cultures, experiences, and environments. We also recognize the beauty of different cultures and the importance of cultural competence in health care. A culturally competent health care system can help improve health outcomes and quality of care and help eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.
We invite public health professionals, community organizations, and the community – to celebrate cultures in health this NPHW!
Watch this NPHW WTVR-6 news segment, “Community Health Workers Improving Health in Underserved Communities.”
IPHI Daily Themes
Monday, April 3 – Community: Community Health Workers (CHWs)
The word “community” holds a lot of power. Community is not only where we are. It’s our connection with others who share similar interests, attitudes, and goals. In short, it’s a sense of togetherness and unity. As the bridge between the health system and under–resourced communities, community health workers (CHWs) take community to heart. CHWs typically live in the areas they serve, giving them the unique ability to bring health information where it is needed most. CHWs are not just a part of clinical teams, but they are a critical component of clinical teams. As a recognized leader in developing the CHW workforce, we invite you explore our CHW initiatives.
Read “Community Health Workers: Behind-the-Scenes Community Heroes” by IPHI Senior Program Manager Valerie McAllister.
Tuesday, April 4 – Accessibility: Equity and Health in All Policies (EHiAP)
Accessibility is crucial in public health because it makes sure that all individuals have equal access to the resources and services that promote their health and well–being. When developing policies and practices in health care, sectors indirectly linked to health are often left out of the equation. Doing this, however, limits the health opportunities for everyone in the community. The same way that many factors shape an environment, many factors can shape health outcomes. When access to health services, nutritious food, safe housing, and other essential resources are limited, it can lead to glaring disparities between communities. Equity and Health in All Policies (EHiAP) is a collaborative effort to help local and state governments incorporate health considerations into decision–making across all sectors and policy areas. Download our EHiAP framework to see how IPHI provides technical assistance on EHiAP.
Wednesday, April 5 – Mental Health: Mental Health First Aids CHWs Training
Often times mental health is overshadowed by physical health, although it’s just as important. Mental health affects everyone as it involves our emotional, psychological, and social well–being. Yet, mental health stigma still persists and deters individuals from seeking help. According to the World Health Association (WHO), the global prevalence of anxiety and depression spiked by 25% in the first year of the COVID–19 pandemic. Disruptions in mental health services is one of the contributors that leave huge gaps in care for those who need it most. Prevention, early detection, and treatment of mental health conditions can lead to improved physical and community health. Last year, IPHI hosted our first Mental Health First Aid training for CHWs, conducted by a CDC trainer. Currently, we are working with partners to develop another training to support mental health efforts, which can be expected later this year.
Thursday, April 6 – Nutrition and Food: Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (PGC FEC)
In 2021, 33.8 million people lived in food–insecure households in the U.S. Food insecurity is a socially rooted and systemic issue that has only grown in prevalence since the COVID–19 pandemic. When individuals struggle to meet their basic needs, there is an increased risk of food insecurity. The accessibility and affordability of nutritious food can influence long–term health outcomes, limiting food-insecure households from living healthy and active lives.
Food insecurity is a worldwide public health issue, and addressing it locally is only a starting point. Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (PGC FEC) develops and support policies, approaches, procedures, practices and initiatives that create systemic change in Prince George’s County, Maryland’s local food system. As an incubator and fiscal sponsor, IPHI backs the FEC as a voice for county residents at the policymaking table. Click here to learn more about IPHI’s food systems initiatives.
Friday, April 7 – Rural Health: Rural Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Solutions
Many rural populations experience significant health disparities compared to urban populations. The rural health disparities include geographic isolation, lower socioeconomic status, higher rates of health risk behaviors, limited access to healthcare providers and facilities, and limited job opportunities. In 2022, IPHI expanded its focus to include support for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and medical providers in rural areas. Through the Rural MS Solutions initiative, we are able to provide support and resources for individuals with MS who live in rural areas and face unique challenges in accessing healthcare. Our team works to improve access to care, provide education and resources, and engage with community partners to create a supportive network for those affected by MS in rural areas.