Springtime often inspires new beginnings and fresh starts, which makes it the perfect time to inspire healthier living, and the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is blossoming with healthy inspiration!
The Public Health Department is participating in two nationwide campaigns in April to make our residents aware of the abundance of local programs and services available to help us all live healthier. April 2-8 is National Public Health Week, and this years theme is A Healthier America Begins Today. April is also the time to celebrate Healthy Counties, Healthy Families, which is the theme for this years National County Government Month.
The intent of these two nationwide campaigns is to motivate change at all levels as a nation, as a community, and as individuals because the consequences are troubling if we continue the status quo.
According to the National Prevention Counsel, chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75 percent of the nations health spending. Often due to economic, social and physical factors, too many Americans engage in behaviors such as tobacco use, poor diet, physical inactivity and alcohol abuse that lead to poor health.
With nearly 1 million Americans dying every year from diseases that could be prevented, even small preventive changes and initiatives can make a big difference in living healthier lives. If we take small actions as a nation, as a community, and as individuals we will see the large benefits of preventive care.
The Public Health Department has a range of programs and services aimed at preventing disease and promoting, preserving and protecting the health of our residents. We also recognize that other county programs, as well as private organizations, do a great job in our county of promoting healthy living and offering opportunities to be active and eat fresh, healthy food. Many residents, however, are not aware of the local resources available, which may provide just the inspiration and support they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.
To further support our residents in their efforts to live healthier lives, the Public Health Department has created the Gateway to Health, a convenient online portal to a collection of local resources for healthy food, physical activity, mental and emotional well-being, living tobacco free, and substance-abuse prevention.
I invite everyone to visit the Gateway to Health, which can be found on the Public Health webpage at www.slopublichealth.org, to learn about the opportunities available to inspire and support our families, friends, neighbors and, perhaps most importantly, ourselves to live healthier lives.
I also invite everyone to visit San Luis Obispo County Public Health on Facebook, where we will be celebrating National Public Health Week by posting tips and interesting facts all week long.
Please join me and my colleagues in working to make San Luis Obispo County a healthier place to live, work and raise a family. Take a moment and make just one positive change a day that will help you live a healthier life. These seemingly small actions can have a big impact when theyre spread throughout an entire family, community and nation.
Dr. Penny Borenstein is the San Luis Obispo County health officer.