Friday, April 8, 2011

April declared Public Health Month

While local health departments work diligently year round to protect the community from health threats, many people are unaware of this resource and how it benefits their quality of life. To raise awareness of the value of public health, the Orange County Health Department will celebrate North Carolina Public Health Month throughout April.
“The Orange County Health Department has many reasons to celebrate Public Health Month this year,” said Dr. Rosemary Summers, Orange County Health Director.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released its 2011 County Health Rankings report on March 30, naming Orange County as the second healthiest county in the state. In February, Orange County Board of Commissioners approved the bid award for renovating the lower level of Whitted Human Services Center in Hillsborough to expand clinical facilities. Renovations will serve health and dental clinic needs and provide additional space for support staff. Construction began in late February with a completion date set for June.
“We are excited about the renovated facility and anticipate that our clients will receive more efficient services with updated equipment in more pleasant surroundings,” Summers said.
The Health Department will use Public Health Month to promote its motto “Prevent, Promote, Protect… Partnering for the Public’s Health” and the services offered to carry out these functions. The health director will release the department’s fiscal year 2009-2010 annual report, Highlighting Health, which presents financial and program outcomes. Staff will participate in a variety of events, including the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day on April 16, which will include Healthy Carolinians of Orange County’s Real Men Rock educational display to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.
The North Carolina Division of Public Health began sponsoring NC Public Health Month in 1978. Local health departments are encouraged to implement activities that build off the national Public Health Week observance (April 4 through 10) and raise awareness of local public health efforts.
The Orange County Health Department has served residents’ public health needs for more than 30 years by offering affordable programs and services through its Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough offices. For more information about Public Health Month in Orange County, visit the health department’s Public Health Month website.

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