National Public Health Week looks at closing the health equity gap

April 8, 2022

National Public Health Week looks at closing the health equity gap

MOBILE, Ala. — During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the country to observe National Public Health Week (NPHW). This week is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health.

The Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) joins APHA in celebrating the 27th NPHW on April 4-10. This year’s theme, “Public Health is Where You Are,” celebrates what we know is true — the places where we are, physically, mentally, and societally affect our health and our lives. Each day during the week has a theme that focuses on the intersections of our lives that affect our health and well-being.

The Mobile County Health Department’s Health Equity Office (HEO) recognizes today’s theme of “Accessibility: Closing the Health Equity Gap” as a part of National Public Health Week.

In the United States, more than 60 million adults live with a disability. Adults living with disabilities are often unable to access primary and regular preventative care for a variety of reasons — access to health insurance, high cost of healthcare, availability of transportation, and more. We know that delayed care puts adults living with disabilities at greater risk to have other health issues like heart disease and diabetes.

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

It is vital to build supports with and through communities, not to and for them. This means that the development of programs, policies, and practices that affect adults living with disabilities should include their voices and opinions.

The HEO is working to close the health equity gap in our community by listening to the needs of our community as well as collecting data and feedback. Themes have emerged around the need for reliable and affordable transportation options as well as the need for access to culturally competent care.

The HEO is connecting our community to existing resources to fill these gaps as well as collaborating with partners to build solutions that don’t yet exist. _____________________________________________________________________________________

This media product was supported by funds made available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, under 1 NH75OT000104-01-00. The content of this media product is that of the authors and does not necessarily stand for the official position of or endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.