With a focus on prevention and wellness this year, the Kentucky Department of Public Health is promoting national Public Health Week, which kicked off yesterday and will be observed until Sunday. The prevention theme was chosen to underscore the impact of chronic disease on the American population.
Americans miss 2.5 billion days of work because of diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, which costs the country $1 trillion. Unintentional injuries, such as those stemming from motor vehicle accidents, poisonings and burns, rank within the top 10 causes of death for people 44 and younger, according to a DPH press release.
"Often, these horrible diseases and injuries could have been prevented with more attention to lifestyle choices like physical activity and nutrition or preventive safety measures," said Dr. Steve Davis, acting DPH commissioner. "The health care community — as well as the individual — must work to understand the risk for developing chronic disease and avoiding injury so that we can prevent complications. This is key to improving the health of our state."
Public health is also crucial in emergency response, as witnessed with recent tornadoes that struck the state. "The contribution of public health is tremendous — both on a day-to-day basis and in times of crisis," Davis said. "I encourage everyone to go online to read more about our public health programs; talk to your health care provider about chronic disease and injury prevention; or, better yet, visit your local health department to learn more about how public health can — and does — improve your life." (Read more)