Oneida County Celebrates Role of Public Health in Daily Life

National Public Health Week is April 1-7

A community cannot thrive unless its residents are healthy and safe, and this week, Oneida County is highlighting the important role of the individuals who work to provide programs and services to protect the lives and environment of its residents.

April 1-7 is National Public Health Week, which is celebrated each year to highlight the importance of public health.

“When it comes to a community’s general well-being, everything relates back to public health and safety,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “Our goal has always been, and continues to be, to help residents live the longest, happiest and healthiest life possible.”

According to officials, the success of public health often goes unrecognized because the focus is on preventing a problem before it occurs.

“People tend to think of public health in the context of that infrequent situation in response to a public outbreak of some sort,” said Oneida County Director of Health Phyllis D. Ellis, BSN, MS, F.A.C.H.E. “Public Health is many people working day-to-day to ensure the water you drink is safe, the public pools and beaches you swim in are clean and safe, that people who need vaccinations have them, that children with special needs receive services and so much more.”

According to county officials, some of the services provided over the past six years include:

• 715 public pool and beach inspections

• 1,016 public water system inspections

• 1,509 lead prevention inspections

• 1,548 Sherriff Office compliance check to prevent sale of tobacco to minors

• 4,930 services delivered to children with learning disabilities

• 5,703 pets vaccinated for rabies

• 7,257 children received early intervention services

• 10,734 restaurant inspections

• 26,006 immunization visits

• 43,374 infectious disease reports reviewed

In celebration of National Public Health Week, Oneida County officials will be making a special announcement on Thursday, April 4 in the City of Sherrill at the Robertson Park Pavilion at 2 p.m. about cancer prevention.

As part of the week’s activities and the County’s Wellness Program, an outdoor afternoon stretching break will be held for all county employees on April 5 at 2:30 p.m. outside the County Office Building on the Park Avenue entrance side.

The county has an active Wellness Program which includes lunch hour walks, workday stretch breaks, organized physical outings like team walks and runs, health fairs, as well as a weekly wellness newsletter focusing on nutrition, quit smoking, heart health and other health information.

The Health Department is also highlighting public health accomplishments and some of its public health staff on its “This is Public Health” link at www.ocgov.net/health.