Public Health Workforce: Essential to Our Future
Sgt. Latisha Barrett, a behavior health specialist with Kirk Army Health Clinic at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, prepares to administer the COVID-19 vaccine shot to Spec. Mia Sapone, a communications specialist with the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) command, at the APG recreation center Jan. 12,. 2021. Soldiers and civilians identified as critical health care, emergency and public safety personnel stationed at APG received their first of two required COVID-19 vaccine shots as part of Kirk’s vaccine rodeo. (U.S. Army Public Health Center photo by Graham Snodgrass) (Photo Credit: Graham Snodgrass) VIEW ORIGINAL

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- In recognition of many communities who are working together to help end the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Public Health Association chose “Public Health is Where You Are” as its theme for the 27th anniversary of National Public Health Week, celebrated April 4 - 10.

“Our theme this year celebrates the impact we have made where we live, work, learn, play and pray, and recognizes the way our communities have influenced our hard work to make the United States a healthier, more equitable and just nation,” said George Benjamin, APHA executive director.

The goal of NPHW is to strengthen communities and raise public health awareness, which falls in line with the Army Public Health Center’s goal to support active living through the promotion of readiness and resilience.

“The daily NPHW themes focus on how public health issues are connected and have an influence on each other, and how learning more about their connections will allow us the greatest opportunity to find the best possible solution to become the healthiest nation,” said Benjamin.

Here are this year’s daily themes:

  • Monday: Racism: A Public Health Crisis
  • Tuesday: Public Health Workforce: Essential to our Future
  • Wednesday: Community: Collaboration and Resilience
  • Thursday: World Health Day: Health is a Human Right
  • Friday: Accessibility: Closing the Health Equity Gap
  • Saturday: Climate Change: Taking Action for Equity
  • Sunday: Mental Wellness: Redefining the Meaning of Health

Throughout the week, APHC will be promoting these themes, which also align with the areas of focus for the 2021 Health of the Force report, expected to be released this spring, and the inaugural Health of the Army Family report, released in November, which used a holistic view of health to highlight what is known and unknown about Army Family member health across multiple health domains and within the military lifecycle.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that we need to view Soldiers holistically as a family unit,” said Erin M. Anderson Goodell, editor of this year’s HOF report. “For example, spouses of Soldiers reported job loss, involuntary furlough, and reduced hours during the pandemic. In addition, numerous childcare centers were closed, forcing Army spouses to provide childcare during normal business hours. Therefore, the health of the Force cannot be separated from the health of the Army Family, and senior Army leaders should continue to be cognizant of how disease and economic-related factors may impact Force readiness.”

Since the Army’s inception, Army Public Health professionals have focused public health efforts on building partnerships. In their work with installations and military medical treatment facilities, Army public health experts advise commanders and leaders about a broad range of public health initiatives and preventive actions. All have the same basic goals of encouraging healthy behaviors and standardizing public health efforts according to best practices (methods that have evidence to support their use).

“I’m proud to lead an organization with such dedicated public health professionals,” said Col. Alisa Wilma, APHC director. “Our public health staff response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been recognized by Army leadership and demonstrates why the public health workforce is so essential to our future.”

Help support this year’s campaign by following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You can also keep up with all of this year’s Army health campaigns by visiting the APHC website.

“We hope that, each day, you’ll see how you fit into building stronger, healthier communities,” said Benjamin. “We hope you’ll join in! Public health needs the public if it’s going to be successful.”

The Army Public Health Center enhances Army readiness by identifying and assessing current and emerging health threats, developing and communicating public health solutions, and assuring the quality and effectiveness of the Army’s Public Health Enterprise