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National Public Health Week Highlights Positive Impact of Improving Public Health

by Tina Tah, Nurse Consultant, Division of Nursing Services

During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation's health. For over 25 years, APHA has served as the organizer of NPHW. The 2022 NPHW theme is “Public Health is Where You Are.”

In recognition of NPHW, the Indian Health Service acknowledges and recognizes the public health work across Indian Country which raises the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level. Where Native people live impacts their communities’ health and we can make our communities healthier, stronger and safer.

This is an excellent opportunity to recognize our entire team of health care professionals for making a positive impact on improving the public health and wellbeing of Native people. Teaching people about the importance of preventive care is key to making sure they receive recommended services and ensuring that they have a greater chance at living long and healthy lives. This activity ensures that comprehensive, culturally appropriate personal and public health services are available and accessible to American Indian and Alaska Native people. This success is rooted in how and where Native people live, learn, work and play.

The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 is a law that requires federal agencies to demonstrate they are using their funding efficiently. The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 updates the original GPRA law that requires agencies to use performance data in decision-making. As part of both acts, all federal agencies have annual performance measures with specific targets.

In fiscal year 2020, the IHS met several public health interim GPRA and GPRAMA measures. These prevention measures focus on early detection of disease, management of risk factors to prevent disease/illness, and provision of annual vaccinations. We are able to celebrate the power of our team of health care professionals as we share strategies for successful partnerships and champion the role of a robust public health system. The IHS demonstrated this by meeting prevention targets for influenza vaccination activity and HIV screening in Native communities.

Join us in observing National Public Health Week 2022 and become part of a growing movement to create a healthier nation. The American Public Health Association creates new NPHW materials each year that can be used during and after the week to raise awareness about public health and prevention.

Tina Tah, Nurse Consultant, Division of Nursing Services
Tina Tah, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, is a nurse consultant and registered nurse for the Division of Nursing Services at IHS headquarters. She has worked for IHS for several years in various direct public health nursing and nursing administrative roles. Tah serves as the principal advisor concerning public health nursing and as a program liaison to provide leadership, direction and advocacy for the broad range of public health nursing services.