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DOH-Pinellas Celebrates National Public Health Week

By Audrey Stasko, Public Information Specialist

April 02, 2018

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) is celebrating National Public Health Week (NPHW) from April 2-8. This year’s theme is “Changing Our Future Together,” which highlights the importance of engaging communities and partners in all sectors as public health workers strive to put health within everyone’s reach. This week is also a time to celebrate the contributions of the people who are dedicated to public health.

Each day of NPHW focuses on a different public health topic that is critical to ensuring healthy communities. Public health workers in DOH-Pinellas are working to meet the specific needs of our community members guided by our Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Our CHIP includes strategies that address each crucial health area identified by NPHW.

Monday, April 2: Behavioral Health

Due to the growing number of opioid-related deaths in Pinellas, an Opioid Task Force was developed in June 2017. Through a collaboration with Operation PAR, DOH-Pinellas, Pinellas County Government, law enforcement, medical providers, treatment facilities and many other key partners, a strategic plan was established in January. As part of that plan to increase education and awareness of the dangers of opioids, the group recently launched an interactive Story Map to illustrate the local impact of the opioid crisis: http://egis.pinellascounty.org/apps/Opioid.

Tuesday, April 3: Communicable Diseases

DOH-Pinellas’ Disease Control and Health Protection team works with health care providers, laboratories and other public health officials in the surveillance, monitoring, and prevention of infectious and communicable diseases. Activities include investigating contagious disease cases and outbreaks, sexually transmitted infections (STI) detection and control, AIDS/HIV treatment and education, immunizations, and tuberculosis (TB) control. Most recently, the DOH-Pinellas HIV/AIDS Program, via a Pinellas County Government grant, launched a social media campaign, #TheBurgCares. The campaign focuses on the St. Petersburg community (commonly called “The Burg”) with information about testing, PrEP, treatment and overcoming the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. #TheBurgCares is on several social media sites and reaches out to high-risk populations on select dating sites.

Wednesday, April 4: Environmental Health

The DOH-Pinellas Environmental Health Program is broken up into four main categories, including Community Health Programs, Facility Programs, Inspections, Pollutant Storage Tanks, and Water & On-Site Sewage. Through collaboration with many state and local agencies, these programs educate, license, inspect, investigate, and enforce public health laws. Unlike popular belief, the Inspection Program does not inspect restaurants in Pinellas. For a list of facilities the program does inspect, as well as the posted inspection results, visit the DOH-Pinellas website at www.PinellasHealth.com.

Thursday, April 5: Injury and Violence Prevention

DOH-Pinellas is an active member of the Safe Kids Florida Suncoast Water Safety committee and its Florida Safe Pools campaign. DOH-Pinellas Pool Inspectors work closely with the group to ensure parents understand the best ways to keep their children safe around pools to combat the high volume of childhood drowning deaths in the county.

Friday, April 6: Ensuring the Right to Health

With a strong focus on health equity when it comes to breastfeeding, safe sleep and improved access to resources, the Florida Healthy Babies Initiative in Pinellas works alongside the Tampa Bay Breastfeeding Task Force-Pinellas Chapter and the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas to reduce infant deaths, close the black-white infant mortality gap, and improve health outcomes for all babies in Pinellas County.

To learn how the department is celebrating each day of #NPHW, be sure to follow the department on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about DOH-Pinellas, go to www.PinellasHealth.com or follow us on Twitter at @HealthyPinellas.

To learn more about NPHW and how you can get involved, visit http://www.nphw.org/

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.