By Jennifer Santisi
The public health field is respected by Americans and policymakers across the political spectrum. However, federal funding for public health has remained relatively level for years. Despite recent struggles to secure more federal funding for research to maintain a robust public health infrastructure, there remains a clear appreciation and growing need for the often time consuming, and sometimes life-threatening, work done by public health professionals on a global, national, and community level.
The variety of public health professionals is vast but ranges from those working in a laboratory to discover new medicines to those professionals in the field who are applying hands-on skills to improve human health and safety, and our environment. It’s no surprise that in thinking about threats to their health, a strong majority of Americans (89%) say elected officials on all levels should listen to advice from public health professionals, according to a survey commissioned by Research!America.
To honor those in public health roles, Public Health Thank You Day is celebrated annually on the Monday before Thanksgiving—this year on November 21. Research!America, AAPS, which is a member of Research!America, and leading public health organizations urge you to salute public health professionals for their ongoing commitment to protecting the health and safety of Americans. As an advocate, it’s important to recognize the role public health heroes have had in improving the well-being of me and my family. From nurses and researchers to community health workers and educators, public health is truly unique as it relies on a combined effort of health professionals across many fields.
“Our public health workforce works day in and day out to protect and improve the health of others. Their work affects the lives of Americans in countless ways, from treating and preventing disease outbreaks, to preparing us for natural disasters, to ensuring everyone has access to quality and affordable care,” said Georges Benjamin, M.D., executive director of the American Public Health Association (APHA). “Thanks to the efforts of these dedicated professionals, the U.S. is on its way to becoming the healthiest nation in one generation.”
For those who work in the public health field, this is a good time to acknowledge the valuable partnerships that lead to a stronger public health system. For those who benefit from public health services, now is a good time to thank the public health professionals around you. Learn more about Public Health Thank You Day by visiting www.publichealththankyouday.org, and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #PHTYD!