National Public Health Week 2015
National Public Health Week is April 6-12, 2015. On March 24, 2015 the Board of Supervisors proclaimed April 6-12 Public Health Week in Fairfax County. This year's theme is "Healthiest Nation 2030." During Public Health Week, the public health community is rallying around a goal of making the U.S. the Healthiest Nation in One Generation — by 2030.
Each day of the week, we will highlight a different health theme that affects our local community. Visit our Twitter and Facebook feeds to join in. Tell us what matters to you!
Daily Tips & Actions
Raising the Grade: The U.S. trails other countries in life expectancy and other measures of good health, and this holds true across all ages and socio-economic groups. The Fairfax County Health Department partners with the Fairfax County Public Schools to "raise the grade" – and positively affect the health of our youth. One of the many ways is through providing free school-required immunizations. The increase in U.S. measles cases has brought national attention to the importance of childhood immunizations. Take the time to review your family’s immunization records and check with your medical provider about getting vaccines you may have missed. Find out more about the immunization services offered at the Health Department.
Starting From Zip: Today, your Zip code says too much about your health. Within the U.S., there are unacceptable disparities in health, state by state, county by county – even neighborhood by neighborhood. Coming soon, the Live Healthy Fairfax initiative will launch a web-based data resource center for the Fairfax community. The Community Data Dashboard will provide local socioeconomic and health data, links to data resources, best practices, and other information to promote community health and well-being. Armed with data, we can start addressing health inequities in our community.
Building Momentum: We are building momentum in our movement to create a healthier Fairfax. The Partnership for a Healthier Fairfax has worked with the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Fairfax County Public Schools to improve the health of residents by reducing or preventing secondhand smoke exposure at park and school amenities. Next time you visit one of Fairfax's 1300 playgrounds, athletic fields or skate parks, look for the "Tobacco Free Play Zone" signs. These signs will help protect our residents – particularly our children – from becoming at higher risk for developing ear infections, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and allergies – all harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
Broader Connections: In the work to become the healthiest nation, we can’t do it all on our own. We have to expand our partnerships to everyone that has an impact on our health. In our community, the Partnership for a Healthier Fairfax (PFHF) is a coalition of community members and organizations that are working together to strengthen the public health system and improve community health with the Live Healthy Fairfax initiative. Recently, Partnership members have developed helpful resources to promote healthy eating in faith communities and to increase healthy food donations at our local pantries.
Building on 20 Years of Success: A lot has happened in the Fairfax community during the last 20 years. For one, Fairfax County's population grew by 250,000; the county is now home to 1.1 million people. The Health Department has grown and evolved along with the community. Last fiscal year, our 21 food establishment inspectors inspected over 3,300 food establishments – and recently the "14 Carrot Gold" Food Safety Excellence Awards were established to recognize excellence in food safety at our local food establishments. During the same period, the Health Department provided 30,590 vaccinations to 9,115 children and served 17,637 clients in the Women, Infants & Children program. Last school year, our school nurses and health aides implemented 49,792 health plans in Fairfax County Public Schools. With a great foundation to build on, the Health Department looks forward to 2030 and beyond!