Since my early professional career as a registered nurse, public health has always been a great concern. Before and during my formal nursing training, I learned that there are a number of preventive measures people could take to lower the probability of developing chronic diseases.
This year, April 6th thru April 12th was recognized as “National Public Health Week.” During this time, we celebrated successful measures that will improve our health and well-being and rally around the goal of making the United States the healthiest nation by 2030.
This goal is attainable if we follow some basic guidelines. First, we have to practice a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis. Common practices for developing a healthy lifestyle include smoking cessation, avoiding second hand smoke, getting annual physical exams, adhering to sound nutrition guidelines and routine immunizations.
Public health professionals also maintain that regular physical activity is a major component of wellness, as well as regular hand washing. Through regular practice of these methods and sharing them with friends and family, we will become a healthier nation.
According to data compiled by the American Health Association and the United Health Foundation, Texas was rated as the 31st healthiest state in the nation in 2014. One year earlier, Texas was ranked the 36th healthiest of the states. Although we are certainly on the right track, we must continue to strive to improve our ranking, especially among our senior population.
Texas ranked 41 out of the 50 states when the status of senior health was considered. There must be widespread efforts to ensure that the people of Texas are at their healthiest, like the people of Hawaii, who were ranked the healthiest in the nation in 2014. Texas can improve its rating by decreasing the number of adult smokers, reducing infant mortality rates, and increasing child immunizations numbers.
According to the researchers for the American Health Association, among the greatest obstacles Texans face to improving their overall health is the scarcity of primary care physicians in rural areas. This makes quality preventative care difficult to obtain. There is also a high percentage of children living in poverty. Lastly, there is a large percentage of Texans who do not participate in regular physical activity.
Public health officials at the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services recently recommended that residents take precautions against diseases carried by mosquitoes during the spring and summer months. Director Zachary Thompson and Medical Director Dr. Christopher Perkins suggested that residents use mosquito sprays, and wear clothing to protect their arms and legs from mosquito bites.
It is extremely important that we do all that we can to promote wellness and healthy living. By paying close attention to our health and the health of those around us, we can successfully secure a pathway to healthier lifestyles and longer lives. I urge all people to take greater interest in their health. We must understand that the proper practice of public health begins at home and in our communities.
Shared from http://www.aframnews.com/the-state-of-our-public-health/
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was elected to her twelfth term to Congress with 88% of the vote from the 30th Congressional District of Texas. For more info visit http://ebjohnson.house.gov/