Spokane Regional Health District Recognizes National Public Health Week 2013, Promoting This Year’s Theme, “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money”
For additional information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539
SPOKANE, Wash. – April 1, 2013 – Every year in the United States, seven out of 10 deaths are due to preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.1 In fact, chronic diseases account for a whopping 75 percent of national health care spending, yet only 3 percent of our health care dollars go toward prevention.2 Here in Spokane County, 28,000 individuals have heart disease and death from heart disease is the second-leading cause for residents.3 But there are steps we can take to help turn these statistics around.
Making prevention a part of community life is at the heart of many programs at Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD). The value of investing in prevention is the theme for this year’s National Public Health Week (NPHW), April 1 through April 7. The health district will be joining the American Public Health Association in its annual celebration of the role of public health and prevention in our communities.
Research shows that investing just $10 per person each year in proven, community-based public health efforts can save the nation more than $16 billion within five years. That’s a $5.60 return for every $1 invested.4 These kinds of returns on investment cannot happen through the works of public health alone; the community’s support in valuing prevention to save lives, pocketbooks and futures is also invaluable.
“I am hopeful that this week will spur residents to celebrate prevention with us and be healthy role models for our community and their loved ones,” said Dr. Joel McCullough, SRHD health officer. “We all have a role to play in making our communities healthier places and public health is excited to help lead the way. Many small preventive steps can add up to make a big difference in transforming a health care system focused on treatment to one that equally values prevention.”
“Our nation and community simply cannot sustain the current trajectory of health care spending and chronic disease rates,” said Dr. McCullough. “Fortunately, we know that investing in prevention and public health can make an enormous difference.”
Supporting public health approaches to better health does reap life-saving returns. For example, research shows that each 10 percent increase in local public health spending contributes to a nearly 7 percent decrease in infant deaths, a 3.2 percent decrease in cardiovascular deaths and a 1.4 percent decrease in diabetes-related deaths.5 Public health and prevention are critical pieces in creating a healthier nation.
Since 1995, communities nationwide have celebrated NPHW each April to draw attention to the need to help protect and improve the nation’s health. The event helps educate and engage Americans in the movement to create a healthier America for ourselves and the generations to come. Spokane residents have a role to play in making America the healthiest nation in one generation. And it starts with taking the simple preventive steps that lead to better health.
For more information about National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org. Information can also be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane County a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.
1 Kung HC, Hoyert DL, Xu JQ, Murphy SL. Deaths: final data for 2005. National Vital Statistics Reports 2008;56(10). Available from: www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvs...
2 APHA. The Prevention and Public Health Fund: A critical investment in our nation’s physical and fiscal health. June 2012. Available at: www.apha.org/advocacy/reports/reports
3 2011 BRFSS, Spokane County.
4 Levi, J. et al, Prevention for a Healthier America: Investments in Disease Prevention Yield Significant Savings, Stronger Communities. Trust for America’s Health. Feb. 2009.
5 APHA Infographic available at: action.apha.org/site/PageNavigator/Infographic_Page_2012_10_04_Round_2.html.