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NPHW 2013: Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money
National Public Health Week 2013 is in the books! With more than 200 partners and nearly 300 events registered on the NPHW website this year, APHA would like to thank everyone who contributed to making this year’s NPHW a great success! Although NPHW 2013 has ended, it’s still important to spread the word on public health’s return on investment, or ROI. Make sure to watch and share the new APHA video, “Public Health is ROI”, to learn the importance of prioritizing public health funding to save money and lives. 

Escape Fire
APHA would like to thank the Escape Fire team for partnering with APHA this year to bring this award-winning film to more than 40 communities across the country. Watch “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” to learn more about the issues within the U.S. health care system and how you can become part of the solution.

We want to hear about your events!
Each year, APHA highlights NPHW events across the country in The Nation’s Health. Let us know how your event went and we’ll publish it in an upcoming issue of the newspaper. The deadline to submit your events is April 19. See details on what to include in your submission. Any questions related to submitting a summary of your event can be sent to  

NPHW report
The American Public Health Association serves as the lead organizer for NPHW and selects a different issue around which to rally and focus efforts to protect the nation’s health.
APHA appreciates your partnership with us for NPHW, and we are interested in hearing from you! We have created a brief report to help our partners provide suggestions and comments about NPHW 2013. Your responses will help guide APHA in creating and coordinating resources for NPHW, which will be observed April 7-13.
Please help us improve our efforts and report how you underscored the value of public health by taking this brief survey!

NPHW event highlights
APHA had many great events throughout NPHW. Below are some of the highlights from this year’s celebration:
  • “Escape Fire” screening at George Washington University – APHA partnered with GWU to host aSt louis NPHW 2013 screening of “Escape Fire” and a panel discussion to discuss important issues brought up in the award-winning film. Nearly 100 people attended this event and watched with fascination and listened intently as Erin Martin, DO, MPH; Gloria Wilder, MD, MPH; and Fitzhugh Mullan, MD, gave their personal views and stories on why the U.S. health system is in the position it’s in and what we can do to help make positive changes. This panel discussion was moderated by Regina Davis Moss, PhD, MPH, MCHES, associate executive director of public health policy and practice at APHA. 
  • Hill briefing –  APHA sponsored a briefing on Capitol Hill that addressed the value of investing in public health and prevention. A great, diverse set of panelists, including Marthe Gold, MD, MPH; Steven Woolf, MD, MPH; David Johnson, MBA; and Donald Shell, MD, MA, talked about the return on public health investment from different perspectives that allowed the audience to see how public health transcends all different sectors. If you were unable to attend, you can view the presentations online.
  • Twitter chat – APHA hosted its third Twitter chat on Wednesday, April 3, and after all was said and done, it had surpassed all of the numbers from the previous two chats. APHA posed questions regarding the return on investment of public health at #NPHWchat and received a phenomenal response. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a lively, record-breaking event. You can view highlights of the NPHW Twitter chat in our Storify roundup
  • St. Louis University event – Executive Director of APHA, Georges Benjamin, met and spoke with manyWalk for health a nphw 2013
    people on the campus of St. Louis University on Thursday, April 4. In addition to teaching a class, and meeting with faculty and students at different events, Benjamin lectured on the importance of public health as a return on investment and why investing in public health should be a priority. 
  • GWU gun violence prevention symposium – George Washington University hosted a gun violence prevention symposium, which included Georges Benjamin, APHA’s executive director. A panel of interdisciplinary experts examined and discussed the gun violence epidemic from a variety of perspectives, including public policy, mental health, prevention strategies, gun research and others. 
  • Walk for Health – APHA partnered with the Pan American Health Organization for the Walk for Health in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, April 6, commemorating NPHW and World Health Day. Lots of enthusiastic people came out and walked, danced and had their blood pressure checked in recognition of the day’s theme of hypertension. This was a fun way to end NPHW 2013. Thank you to all who participated. 

NPHW promotion and resources
  • Statement from U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel – Charles B. Rangel of the U.S. House of Representatives released a statement supporting National Public Health Week and the value of public health as a return on investment. Read the statement online.
  • Video from the surgeon general – U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin released a video to kick off NPHW. The Surgeon General explains how public health is a return on investment and also announces the beginning of a national effort to promote walking. See the full video here.
  • AJPH summary – APHA has compiled a collection of studies from the American Journal of Public Health that highlight the return on investment from public health. Visit the NPHW website to view the AJPH summary online
  • Community Health Action Brief – In partnership with APHA, the National Business Coalition on Health developed an action brief that focused on the role of employers in community health. Read the Community Health Action Brief.
  • Policy center factsheet – APHA released a new fact sheet during NPHW, “Public Health and Chronic Disease: Cost-Savings and Return on Investment of Prevention.” This resource highlights the cost-savings and return on investment from preventing chronic disease, which is the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. Also included are examples of cost-saving interventions and policies. 
  • NPHW Infographic Contest – APHA received many great submissions for the NPHW Infographic Contest. Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest. Visit the NPHW website to view the four winners

APHA webinar: Evaluating Legislation Impact: The Maryland Public Health Dental Hygiene Act 
A few years ago, the underserved in Maryland, especially children, gained increased access to oral health services through the Public Health Dental Hygiene Act of 2008. The act allows a dental hygienist working in a public health setting, including schools, to practice dental hygiene and apply sealants or fluoride agents, mouth rinse or varnish without a prior examination by a dentist or physician. In 2012, the Maryland Office of Oral Heath was awarded funding by the American Public Health Association to evaluate the law’s effects.

This webinar will take place on Tuesday, April 9, from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. EDT and will feature Harry Goodman, DMD, MPH, director of the Office Oral Health, who will give an overview of the law; Deborah Levy, MS, founder of SuccessLinks LLC and evaluation consultant, who will discuss the evaluation; and Sue Camardese, RDH, MS, the public health dental hygienist at Chase Brexton Health Services in Columbia, Md., who will speak about how the law has affected their dental program.

Register online - for questions about this webinar, please contact Sondra Dietz at

APHA received funds for this project and webinar from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the National Public Health Improvement Initiative. The contents of this webinar do not represent any official views or endorsement by CDC. 

Thank you for supporting NPHW 2013!

Mark your calendars for next year’s NPHW observance April 7 – 13, 2014.


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