National Public Health Week: Promoting the health of people with disabilities

April 7th through 13th, 2014 is National Public Health Week (NPHW). In 1995, President Bill Clinton proclaimed the first full week of April as NPHW and the American Public Health Association (APHA) has served as the leading organizer for members of the public health community to observe, celebrate, and educate the public, policymakers, and practitioners about the importance of public health. This year #NPHW focuses on daily themes:

Monday: Be healthy from the start
Tuesday: Don’t Panic!
Wednesday: Get out ahead
Thursday: Eat Well
Friday: Be the healthiest nation in one generation

People with disabilities are more likely to experience health disparities—differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of disease and other adverse health conditions. Healthy People 2020, an initiative under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, includes a section on Disability and Health. Within this section, four focus areas address systems and policies, barriers to health care, environment, and activities and participation; and include over 20 objectives. Examples of areas of health disparity in people with disabilities include: smoking, cost and/or physical barriers to access of care, female/reproductive health (i.e.., mammograms and other cancer screenings), obesity, oral health, and physical activity (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/healthstatus.html).

The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) focuses on advancing health promotion and wellness initiatives for children and adults with disabilities through advocacy, education, public awareness, and research efforts at the federal, state, and community levels. The AAHD has a Health Promotion Resource Center that focuses on over 30 abstract and best practices topics including: Health Education, Health Promotion, Social Determinants of Health, Access to Health Care, Obesity, and Nutrition.

About cgraves34

Media Specialist for the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) through Administration for Community Living (ACL) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
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