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National Public Health Week is April 4-10, 2016

Just what is public health? It means drinking clean water, breathing clean air, living free of disease and eating healthy food. And so much more. In fact, it can be a little surprising to imagine how many other ways Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department quietly impacts our community. Check back on this web site to learn more about your local public health heroes who are at work every day to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County.

Healthiest Nation 2030

For 20 years, the APHA has taken the first full week of April to bring together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week. It is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation.

Changing our health means ensuring conditions that give everyone the opportunity to be healthy. Join us in celebrating National Public Health Week 2016 and become a part of the movement for change:

Build a nation of safe, healthy communities
Health must be a priority in designing our communities, from healthy housing to parks and playgrounds. Walking and biking must coexist with cars and public transportation. We need lower levels of violence and crime so everyone can safely live, work, learn and play. Support farmers markets and local businesses that value health, such as retailers that don't sell tobacco. Learn more about planning for healthy communities.

Help all young people graduate from high school
Education is the leading indicator of good health, giving people access to better jobs, incomes and neighborhoods. Call for policies that start with early school success and lead to higher on-time high school graduation rates. Be a champion for school-based health centers in your local schools. Become a mentor — you can make a difference! Learn how education relates to better health.

The relationship between increased economic mobility and better health
The science is clear: Poverty and poor health go hand-in-hand. It’s time to fix our country’s growing income inequality and the unhealthy stresses it puts on adults and children. Support policies that ensure a living wage and remove barriers that make it harder to advance to higher incomes. The Health Department focuses on ensuring equity across our communities.

Social justice and health
Everyone has the right to good health. We must remove barriers so everyone has the same opportunity to improve their lives and their health. Speak out against racism and an unequal criminal justice system. Demand a fair allocation of community resources. Fight against the trend of growing voter restrictions. Everyone needs a voice in improving our communities. The Health Department focuses on ensuring equity across our communities.

Give everyone a choice of healthy food
Our food system should provide affordable food with nutritious ingredients, free from harmful contaminants. For many families, eating healthy is a daily challenge. Call for policies that help eliminate food deserts and bring healthy food to all neighborhoods and schools. Support measures like menu labeling that help people make healthier choices. Start a community garden. Volunteer for a local food bank! Learn more about physical activity and nutrition.

Preparing for the health effects of climate change
Our health is connected to our environments. What happens upstream to our environments at work, school and home affects our health downstream. Support policies that protect the air we breathe indoors and outdoors and the clean water we drink as well as those that help protect our health from natural and manmade weather events and disasters. Learn more about drinking clean water and breathing clean air.

Provide quality health care for everyone
Health reform was just a start. To fulfill its potential, we must continue to pursue options for expanded access to quality care at the federal, state and local levels. But we also need to shift the main focus of our health system from one that treats illness to one that equally emphasizes prevention. Learn how you can access affordable health insurance.