Public Health Week Highlighted In North Dakota

North Dakotans Encouraged To Take Prevention Measures to Live Longer and Healthier Lives 

The North Dakota Department of Health is highlighting the importance of  prevention and wellness to improve our state’s health during National Public Health Week recognized April 2 through 8, 2012. 

To highlight this year’s theme of “A Healthier America Begins Today:  Join the Movement,” public health leaders across the country are calling on Americans to take actions aimed at preventing disease before it begins and lowering the cost of health care. Chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are responsible for millions of premature deaths and cause Americans to miss 2.5 billion days of work. Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death for people ages 40 and older.  In 2005 through 2009, more than 2,600 North Dakotans died from chronic disease each year.  

“Many diseases are preventable,” said Karalee Harper, director of the Division of Chronic Disease for the North Dakota Department of Health. “It is important to remember that everyone has a role to play and each action, no matter how small, can make a big difference.” 

Three easy things everyone can do to stay healthy and prevent chronic disease are:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Be more physically active.
  • Live tobacco free. Need help quitting? Call 1.800.QUIT.NOW. 

These preventive measures can help create a healthier state and nation and reach the country’s goal of becoming the healthiest nation in just one generation. Small actions are needed for communities, homes and families to see the large benefits of preventive care and grow the movement.

Public Health Week is part of the American Public Health Association’s annual celebration of the role of public health. Since 1995, communities around the country have celebrated National Public Week each April to draw attention to the need to protect and improve the nation’s health.

For more information about Public Health Week and steps you can take to prevent chronic disease, contact Karalee Harper, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.4517.