Several events, including mayoral proclamation, will promote this year’s theme, “Safety is no Accident: Live Injury Free”

SPOKANE, Wash. – April 1, 2001 – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) will recognize National Public Health Week, April 4-10, 2011, with several events that promote this year’s theme, “Safety is no Accident: Live Injury-Free.”

Injury is the most expensive medical problem in the United States. In a single year, $80 billion will be spent on medical care; another $326 billion on lost productivity; and an untold amount on social support for the individuals and families caring for the severely injured.1

“In many cases in Spokane and nationwide, these costs are increasing because effective preventative measures are not being taken to avoid injuries and violence,” said Dr. Joel McCullough, SRHD public health director.

On Monday, April 4, 2011, a mayoral proclamation will be presented to Dr. McCullough at the Spokane City Council meeting. The proclamation will emphasize that it only takes a moment for an injury to happen—a fall on a stair, a moment’s glance away from the road, a biking or sports related injury, a medication mix up. But it also takes just a moment to protect against injuries and make Spokane a safer community.

Also during National Public Health Week, several educators from the SRHD Injury Prevention Program will be touting their priorities in preventing injuries among children, adults and seniors:

  • Senior falls prevention – the program offers many free screenings in the community, as well as a number of resources through its page on the SRHD website. It also recommends this prescription for preventing falls among older people.

    • Begin a regular exercise program

    • Make homes safer

    • Have vision checked once a year

    • Review medications with a pharmacist

  • Bicycle and pedestrian safety – SRHD Injury Prevention staff continues to remind the public that helmets reduce the risk of brain injury by 88 percent. Staff is this year again partnering with Big 5 Sporting Goods to offer 20 percent off all helmet purchases. Click here for a coupon.  
  • Child passenger safety – in addition to offering free screenings in the community and a number of resources, the program is also working to get word out about the American Academy of Pediatrics’ updated recommendation on car seats. Children should now ride rear-facing until the age of 2 and use a booster until at least age 8. To read the full policy, click here.  
  • Suicide prevention – staff continue their work to ease the discomfort of conversations around suicide, and encourage Spokane residents to know the warning signs including: a strong wish to die or preoccupation with death, giving away possessions, signs of depression (moodiness, withdrawal), increased alcohol, drug use, or hinting at not being around in the future or saying goodbye. The program is also offering discounted pricing for online suicide prevention gatekeeper training that utilizes the Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) methodology. For more information, the public can contact AJ Sanders at  

National Public Health Week is the perfect venue to talk about all these activities, as well as the many other achievements of public health in the Spokane community.

Continued Dr. McCullough, “We need to recognize that public health requires much more than restaurant inspections, clean water and flu shots. Adults and children must have safe places to live, work, play and learn, where they can enjoy every aspect of their lives without worry of injury. If everyone contributes, we can help people live safer lives, free from hurt and harm.”

National Public Health Week is the American Public Health Association’s annual celebration of the role of public health. Since 1995, communities around the country have celebrated NPHW each April to draw attention to the need to help protect and improve the nation’s health. For more information about National Public Health Week, visit Information can also be found at SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community.

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Web-based injury statistics query and reporting system (WISQARS). (2010). Available at: