Division working to empower a healthy Oakland County

Oakland County Health Division (OCHD), under the leadership of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, concludes its celebration of the 18th annual National Public Health Week (NPHW) this week by focusing on how public health is critical to our community's health and future.

"It's impossible to disconnect our individual health from our community's health," said Kathy Forzley, OCHD manager/health officer. "Good health doesn't happen by chance. It's connected to the environments in which we live, work and play; it's tied to the resources available in our communities; and research shows that it's undoubtedly linked to a person's access to good health care."

Public health maintains the health victories we've accomplished so far, such as dramatic reductions in tobacco use, improvements in the water supply, control of infectious diseases through vaccines and antimicrobial drugs, and increases in life expectancy with enormous improvements in survival rates of mothers and their infants. Public health is essential to confronting today's big problems, such as rising chronic disease rates. Public health also monitors and protects us from emerging health threats, reduces vaccine-preventable diseases, provides life-saving services for vulnerable populations and much more.

Start small...

* Stay up to date on recommended vaccinations for yourself and your loved ones.

* Look up the national Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to see how much physical activity you should get on a daily basis and encourage family and friends to do the same. Visit www.health.gov/paguidelines to learn more.

* Support local farmers markets and other access points to fresh fruits and vegetables. It's not only good for your health; it's good for the local economy too.

* Inquire about volunteer opportunities at community health centers.

For additional information on Health Division services or health related resources, find the division on Facebook at Public Health Oakland or follow it at twitter.com/publichealthOC. Residents can also call Nurse on Call at 1-800-888-5533 or visit www.oakgov.com/health.

Published: Fri, Apr 5, 2013