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National Public Health Week 2022

NAUGATUCK VALLEY HEALTH DISTRICT CELEBRATES
NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK APRIL 4-10, 2022!

NPHW Press Release_2022
March 28, 2022
Contact: Carissa Caserta, MPH, Assistant Director
Phone: (203) 881-3255 ext. 104

 

“During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week (NPHW) as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health.” (APHA, 2019). This year’s theme, “Public Health is Where You Are”, highlights where we live can impact our communities’ health. Working together, we can build healthier communities and eventually, the healthiest nation. Join us this year as we celebrate the daily themes throughout the week.

The APHA has identified the following public health topics for this year’s National Public Health Week:

Monday, April 4, 2022 Racism: A Public Health Crisis
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 Public Health Workforce: Essential to Our Future
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 Community: Collaboration and Resilience
Thursday, April 7, 2022 World Health Day: Health is A Human Right
Friday, April 8, 2022 Accessibility: Closing the Health Equity Gap
Saturday, April 9, 2022 Climate Change: Taking Action for Equity
Sunday, April 10, 2022 Mental Wellness: Redefining the Meaning of Health

 

The pandemic has shined a spotlight on public health and local health departments/districts however we recognize that many individuals still may not know about broad range of programming, mandated services and enforcement that Naugatuck Valley Health District (NVHD) provides. In addition to the APHA themes, we will be utilizing this NPHW to highlight our staff and services in an effort to raise more local awareness of our services.

Naugatuck Valley Health District (NVHD) is a nationally accredited local health entity that serves the communities of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Seymour and Shelton. Formed in 1972, NVHD is proud to be celebrating its 50th anniversary of providing public health services this year! NVHD is committed to protecting the environmental and physical well-being for its communities through the promotion of health access, health education, regulation, com-munity engagement and partnerships! We have four main divisions: Environmental Health Services, Community Health Services, Public Health Emergency Preparedness & Response, and Administration.

Join Naugatuck Valley Health District in observing NPHW 2022 and become part of a growing movement to create the healthiest nation in one generation! We are excited to announce the following community events during NPHW 2022. All community members are invited!

 

Topics and Events – Expanded Schedule

Monday 4/4: Black Maternal Health Week & CDC’s Hear Her Campaign

We will be highlighting topics from Black Maternal Health Week that will be taking place April 11-17th. We also will be sharing the CDC’s Hear Her Campaign which supports CDC’s efforts to prevent pregnancy-related deaths by sharing potentially life-saving messages about urgent warning signs.

Tuesday 4/5: Learn about NVHD’s Staff & Their Dedication to Public Health

Meet our team! Be on the lookout for posts from our NVHD staff on why Public Health is important to us and the community we serve.

Wednesday 4/6: Donate to Help Valley Organizations

Help us help our community! NVHD will have donation boxes throughout the months of April, May, & June for identified Valley organizations. During the month of April, we will be collecting donation items for Spooner House (www.actspooner.org). A list of donation box locations and preferred donation items will be shared on our social media pages and website. Inquiries regarding the donation initiative should be directed to Amanda Michaud, Public Health Emergency Preparedness & MRC Coordinator at (203) 881-3255 ext. 117 or email amichaud@nvhd.org.

Thursday 4/7: Health Screenings & Programs
NVHD will be visiting Spooner House (30 Todd Rd, Shelton, CT 06484) to host FREE blood pressure screenings and advertising future health programs that will be offered by NVHD.

Friday 4/8: Homebound Spotlight, Test Kit Distribution, & Vaccine Clinic

NVHD will spotlight our Public Health Nurse, Kristie D’Averso, RN and her generous efforts with NVHD’s Homebound Vaccine Program. If you are looking for free COVID-19 home test-kits, look no further! We will be distributing home kits throughout the community. In addition, we will be offering a COVID-19 vaccine clinic from 2-4 pm at our office, located at 98 Bank Street in Seymour, Connecticut. We have both Pfizer (12+) and Moderna (18+) available for first, second, and booster doses. No pediatric doses will be available. ID, insurance card, and vaccine card will be asked for upon check-in. No insurance? No problem. Let our registration staff know. Are you looking for an appointment or have any questions? Please contact Gabrielle Diaz, Public Health Educator, at (203) 881-3255 ext. 108 or email gdiaz@nvhd.org.

Saturday 4/9: Climate Change Nature Walk & Talk Event

NVHD and the Kellogg Environmental Center invite you and your family to a presentation on climate change and guided nature walk beginning at the Kellogg Environmental Center (500 Hawthorne Ave., Derby, CT 06418). This event will run 10 am-1 pm. The presentation will teach how climate change can affect our health, shoreline, and activities here in Connecticut. The 1-hour guided nature walk will follow the presentation. We invite you to explore the other trails and gardens after the walk while visiting tables with information on future programs, trainings, giveaways, and more! Tabling provided by NVHD and other community organizations. Learn about ticks and mosquito prevention and more! Registration is not required but is preferred on our Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/climate-change-nature-walk-tickets-299129553547.

Questions about this event can be directed to Gabrielle Diaz, Public Health Educator, at (203) 881-3255 ext. 108 or email gdiaz@nvhd.org.

Naugatuck Valley Medical Reserve Corps
A great way to give back to the community and to increase your own knowledge and skills is by volunteering. The Naugatuck Valley Medical Reserve Corps (NVMRC) is a volunteer program of the Naugatuck Valley Health District and is part of a national affiliation. Don’t let the word “medical” in the name fool you; NVMRC is currently recruiting volunteers who are 18 years and older with both non-medical and medical backgrounds!

Join the NVMRC today to begin strengthening your emergency preparedness and response capability or join one of our special projects to help support public health activities in the Valley! For more information or to apply, please visit https://ctresponds.ct.gov/ or contact Amanda Michaud, Public Health Emergency Preparedness & MRC Coordinator at (203) 881-3255 ext. 117 or email amichaud@nvhd.org.

 

We hope to see you at one of our NPHW 2022 events!

Please monitor our website (http://www.nvhd.org/NPHW2022/NPHW22) and be sure to “like” and “follow” our social media pages (FacebookTwitter and Instagram) for health-related tips, facts and any inclement weather updates.

 

 

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President Joe Biden officially proclaimed April 4-10 as National Public Health Week!

Read the Presidential Proclamation here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/04/01/a-proclamation-on-national-public-health-week-2022/

DAY 1

Long-standing inequities in health care, income, housing, education and many other factors that influence health and well-being have widened during the COVID-19 pandemic. These inequities are largely driven by racism and biases embedded in our systems, institutions, policies and practices. This structural racism results in a lack of access and opportunity, and increased sickness and premature death among communities of color.

Did you know that compared to white women, Black women (across socioeconomic status) are three times more likely to die within one year of childbirth?

We must transform our systems and dismantle policies and practices that uphold racism and continue inequities. We must work together as a community to make racial equity central to health equity.

Over 700 women die each year in this country from problems related to pregnancy or delivery complications. This week the Valley would like to highlight the Hear Her campaign from the CDC’s national effort to prevent pregnancy-related deaths by encouraging anyone who supports pregnant and postpartum women to really listen when she tells you something doesn’t feel right. Acting quickly could help save her life. The combined fetal and infant mortality rate in the Lower Naugatuck Valley has been on an upward trend; and nationally, Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. In recognition of both National Public Health Week and Black Maternal Health Week, we hope to bring awareness to the importance of recognizing urgent maternal warning signs.
 
Most pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. can be prevented. You know your body best. If you are pregnant or gave birth within the last year and feel like something is wrong, speak up and ask for help. It could save your life.
DAY 2 Public health programs need the support and involvement of the communities they serve, so building public trust and confidence is crucial to building healthy communities. A diverse public health workforce that reflects the diversity of the community is better prepared to address health disparities. The public health workforce is essential to addressing the health challenges of our present and future.

NVHD values workforce development internally as well as regionally, hosting and participating in many different training opportunities. Through our Workforce Development Committee, our staff aligns our multi-year training and exercise plan with our strategic priorities and critical emerging public health topics.

Meet some of Team NVHD! Our workforce is comprised of dedicated professionals who were drawn to public health for a variety of reasons. Our subject matter experts are here for Valley residents and businesses to provide technical assistance, guidance, education, and referrals through public health programming, enforcement, and clinical services.

DAY 3

Community encompasses every aspect of our lives — it’s where we live, work, learn and play. Over the course of the last two years, people across the world have experienced social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Social isolation contributes to increased rates of depression, impaired immunity and premature mortality, and these negative impacts are even worse in communities marginalized as a result of their race, income, sexual orientation and gender identity. Beyond social isolation, there are other conditions in our communities that impact our health and well-being called social determinants of health. People living just a few blocks apart may have vastly different life expectancies because of the safety of the neighborhood they live in and the quality of their schools. Transportation barriers and lack of health insurance can limit access to health services and can increase the risk of harmful health behaviors like skipping medication or postponing care. Having to travel long distances to access nutritious foods is linked to food insecurity, putting communities at higher risk for chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. There are also negative environmental health conditions like poor air quality that can result in cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and cause more than 6 million premature deaths each year.

Naugatuck Valley Health District is committed to protecting the environmental and physical well-bring for its communities through the promotion of health access, health education, regulation, community engagement, and partnerships. In honor of National Public Health Week (April 3- 9), NVHD wants to encourage residents to make an impact when it comes to public health and resilience within our community, and they can do this by supporting our new “Community Give Back Program”.
Throughout the year, we will designate a “charity or non-profit of the month” and all donations collected will be donated to that organization. We reached out to our local libraries, senior centers, and community centers, to partner with us and host donation bins in addition to a collection bin at our office, located at 98 Bank Street, Seymour, CT! Be sure to check out our new flyer each month! We are excited for the launch of this program and hope YOU will get involved!
This month, we are seeking donations for Spooner House in Shelton. “Spooner House is operated by Area Congregations Together, Inc. with the mission of providing food, shelter and support services to people in need. All of our energies are devoted to helping our clients establish a self-sufficient living situation. We recognize the dignity of our clients, we give them our respect and we deliver our services without proselytizing.” – http://www.actspooner.org. Please see the flyer for the most needed items and the locations for dropping off donations!

 

 

DAY 4
Social determinants of health impact the health of every community. Where you are born determines your access to health care along with lifestyle and disease prospects. An unequal and fragmented health care system means people receive different care depending on whether they can afford it. If you live in an underserved community, most likely your life expectancy will be shorter than if you live in a well-resourced community. To ensure good health is a reality for everyone, we must call on all countries to protect human rights as part of their health policies and systems. More investments are needed to strengthen the health care workforce and expand services. Better health outcomes depend on health workers delivering quality care.
DAY 5

We can work together to improve the health of people living with disabilities and other marginalized groups by reducing health disparities in health insurance, increasing physical accessibility to care, increasing availability of appropriate care, building more inclusive public health programs and promoting healthy living.

In April 2021, NVHD launched our Homebound Vaccination Program in partnership with our local EMS agencies. In the past year, we have made over 200 visits to vaccinate homebound individuals in the Valley thanks to the coordination and dedication of Nurse Kristie!
If you are physically or medically unable to leave your home to get the COVID-19 shot, please fill out this form: https://dphsubmissions.ct.gov/homebound.
Your information will be provided to NVHD by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health and no one else. Please be patient, information is shared with towns typically once a week on Mondays but may be more infrequent. Please do not fill out this form if you have another way to get the COVID-19 shot.
If you only need a ride to get a COVID-19 shot, you should not complete this form. You should click on this Transportation Resources link for help finding a ride.

 

DAY 6

Climate change poses one of the most significant public health threats today by creating a series of interconnected impacts on human health. As global temperatures rise, heatwaves become more frequent and increase the risk of heat stroke and make cardiovascular illnesses worse. Warmer temperatures and changes in precipitation expand the geographic range of disease-carrying insects, leading to more cases of vector-borne diseases, such as Zika virus. Increased greenhouse gas emissions make air quality worse by trapping pollution and increasing allergens that aggravate respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. Drought causes more frequent and intense wildfires, whose smoke further reduces air quality. Flooding from intense storms leads to property and infrastructure damage, mold growth, food scarcity and water contamination. Flooding can cause injury and death due to trauma and drowning and increase stress and anxiety that adversely affect mental health and wellness.

If we don’t move forward with solutions that address the severity of this crisis, these impacts will only get worse, and they will cause disproportionate harm to the most vulnerable among us. Certain populations — such as children, older adults, people living with disabilities and chronic illnesses, communities of color, the unsheltered and outdoor workers — are disproportionately affected by climate pollution and climate change.

On Saturday, April 9th, Naugatuck Valley Health District (NVHD) is partnering with the Kellogg Environmental Center for a presentation on Climate Change and a guided nature walk, in honor of National Public Health Week, April 4-10, 2022.

It is an honor to have Susan Quincy, the Education Outreach Coordinator for the Kellogg Environmental Center, share how climate change can affect our health, shoreline, and activities here in Connecticut. You will learn what changes we are experiencing, especially how it effects our health through air quality, heat, and insects.

After the presentation, guided and self-guided tours of the trails will be available to participate in. The guided hike on the red trail is a moderate level trail through a variety of habitats. This walk is for individuals able to cover some uneven and rocky ground. The self-guided walk around the pond is stroller friendly and helps little ones explore the changes we are seeing for Spring. For both trails, please wear non-slip closed toes shoes that can get muddy. It doesn’t hurt to have sunscreen and bug spray handy!

We invite you to explore the trails, gardens, and the Osborne Homestead Museum after the walk while visiting NVHD’s tables with information on future programs, trainings, and giveaways! You may also bring a picnic lunch to enjoy outside, no alcohol please.

We are requesting that individuals pre-register for this event, although it is not required. The QR code on the flyer can be scanned using a smart phone or individuals can use this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/climate-change-nature-walk-tickets-299129553547.

Inquiries and questions regarding this event can be directed to Gabrielle at (203) 881-3255 ext. 108 or email gdiaz@nvhd.org.

 

DAY 7

Mental health is a critical component of public health. It consists of emotional, psychological and social well-being and is important from childhood through adulthood.
The COVID-19 pandemic can affect mental health in many ways, including through loss of a loved one, isolation due to physical distancing mandates, exposure to the virus and loss of income. Given the past year’s strain, it’s not surprising that health care workers have a high risk of developing mental illness. Strategies like being physically active, getting a full night’s sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, practicing gratitude, participating in activities you enjoy, developing coping skills, meditating and connecting with others can improve mental health. People who engage in physical activity have fewer days of poor mental health than people who do not exercise. Talking to a licensed therapist, joining a support group or 12-step program or considering medication under the supervision of a physician can all be beneficial.
Stay tuned for upcoming free community trainings that NVHD staff will be hosting (QPR Suicide Prevention Training, Mental Health First Aid Training, Psychological First Aid Training).

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