By Diane Lee, Public Information Officer, Garrett County Health Department
Over the past year public health has been in the news as workers first tried to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the nation, and then rolled out vaccines to protect the nation’s most vulnerable groups. National Public Health Week, April 5-11, 2021, is a good time to highlight the importance of Public Health in protecting and improving the health of everyone in the community.
National Public Health Week is celebrating its 26th anniversary. This year the American Public Health Association (APHA), the organization that sponsors the yearly celebration, is focusing on how to strengthen and support the very foundation of the nation’s health and communities.
“By working together, we can achieve health equity and, eventually become the healthiest nation,” their website states. “We need your help to get there. We don’t need to get back to where we were – we need to create connections and listen to community leaders who will help us build a strong society that prioritizes health for everyone.”
The year 2020 was challenging for everyone, including those in public health.
“The COVID-19 pandemic taxed the planet like never before,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director of APHA. “However, public health practitioners were up to the challenge, and we now see the light at the end of the tunnel. National leadership, trusted research and a focus on sound public health and prevention principles have put us on a pathway to ending the pandemic and returning our nation to economic prosperity. Now we need to do the work to build, once and for all, the public health capacity that all Americans deserve.”
The Garrett County Health Department is the recognized Public Health agency in Garrett County. In addition to providing COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, the Garrett County Health Department provides programs and support for many aspects of health for the citizens of Garrett County.
The Health Department’s website, garretthealth.org, lists the many services available through their numerous programs. Some of the services include Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Programs; Early Care Programs for children and their families; Prevention Programs; Home Health Services; Personal Health Services; Dental Care; and Environmental Health Services. For more information about services at the Health Department, visit garretthealth.org, or call 301-334-7730.