PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
April 7, 2015

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Christie Administration Recognizes National Public Health Week, April 6-12

2015 National Public Health Theme - "Healthiest Nation in 2030"

New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd is marking National Public Health Week, April 6-12, by highlighting New Jersey's effort to build healthier communities.

"National Public Health Week serves as reminder that we all need to do our part to create a healthier state not only for ourselves but also for our children and future generations," said Commissioner O'Dowd. "During this week, we also celebrate the work our local health departments and public health partners are doing to make New Jersey a healthy place to live, learn, work and play."

This year's National Public Health Week theme is Healthiest Nation 2030 and the goal is to encourage individuals and communities to help make the U.S. the "Healthiest Nation in One Generation."

Carolyn Daniels, the Department of Health's Director of Minority and Multicultural Health, was a featured presenter at the Rutgers University 20th Annual Public Health Symposium on Monday, April 6. The symposium is one event being conducted as part of National Public Health Week.

This year's Symposium discussed health disparities including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, and orientation. In addition, the program highlighted successful and replicable ways in which organizations are addressing these disparities.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan provided welcoming remarks at the same symposium and presented Rutgers with a proclamation in recognition of National Public Health Week.

National Public Health Week (NPHW) is organized by the American Public Health Association.

"Celebrated for nearly 20 years, National Public Health Week helps spread awareness of the contributions of public health and to highlight important issues for improving our nation's health," added O'Dowd.

New Jersey can celebrate a number of successes. The number of people who have quit smoking has steadily decreased over the last 25 years. Infant mortality has decreased by 50 percent since 1990. Violent crime is way down. Premature deaths have decreased by 33 percent.

These successes were noted in the 2014 America's Health Rankings conducted by the UnitedHealth Foundation. New Jersey ranked 11th in the country in the study and healthier communities are one reason cited.

The New Jersey Department of Health, along with Partners for Health, and Atlantic Health System, has awarded $380,000 in Shaping NJ Healthy Community grants to 31 communities to improve access to healthy food and opportunities to be physically active.

Grants are approximately $5,000 - $12,000 and were awarded to local communities for strategy implementation. Local projects include corner store initiatives, community/school gardens, community walking and bike paths, Safe Routes to School program, new farmers markets and Take the Stairs campaigns at the workplace.

For more information on National Public Health Week, visit http://www.nphw.org


Last Reviewed: 4/7/2015