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UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

_________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 31, 2017

DOH to Hold Events in Celebration of National Public Health Week
Monday, April 3rd-Friday, April 7th

The USVI Department of Health (DOH) will host various events from Monday, April 3rd thru Friday, April 7th in recognition of the American Public Health Association’s National Public Health Week, themed “Healthiest Nation 2030.”

The DOH will be educating the community on various health issues affecting the Virgin Islands and providing health tips, so that individuals can make informed decisions and instill a daily regimen of healthy habits. Realizing that government as a whole plays a significant role in maintaining the health of the public, the DOH has invited various government agencies, senators, and community partners to take part in this week’s activities. 

The DOH has a week full of events; however, we want to invite the public to attend the Open House that will be held on Monday, April 3rd, from 9am-3pm, in the lobby of the Charles Harwood Complex and in the lobby of the Roy Lester Schneider Hospital. The DOH is also hosting a Health Fair on Wednesday, April 5th, from 9am-3pm at the amphitheater of the Sunny Isle Shopping Center and the atrium of Tutu Park Mall. Displays, giveaways and free glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings will available. Additionally, from 12pm to 1pm, on the same day (Wednesday), a Healthy Happy Hour will be held for all to join in, which will consist of a free workout-provided by 340 Cross Fit St. Croix and Reebok Cross Fit of St. Thomas-and a healthy lunch, provided by Plaza Extra West, Plaza Extra Tutu and United Way of the Virgin Islands.

The U.S. lags among peer countries in life expectancy and in a number of health measures, including poor birth outcomes, higher numbers of injuries and homicides, high instances of obesity and high risk of death from lung disease and heart disease. In addition to these worse health outcomes, the U.S. spends more on health care than comparable countries. Here in the USVI chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are at an alarming rate.

“We are thrilled to host these events and energize our community around improving health,” said Commissioner Michelle Davis, PhD. “National Public Health Week plays an important role in raising awareness about the public health issues that affect our nation and territory, every day, including but not limited to mental health, infectious diseases, chronic diseases and the like. Addressing these issues and working toward becoming a healthier nation starts right here in our community.”

Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of American Public Health Association (APHA) said, “National Public Health Week offers an annual opportunity to educate Americans, engage communities, garner awareness and take action on public health issues affecting individuals throughout the nation.” He added, “this year, we’re celebrating the power of prevention, advocating for healthy and fair policies, sharing strategies for successful partnerships and championing the role of a strong public health system.”

The DOH’s scheduled events will be added to the hundreds of events taking place throughout the nation. Since 1995, APHA has hosted National Public Health Week during the first full week in April. Communities, organizations, schools and others nationwide celebrate during this week to raise awareness about public health and prevention.

For more information about National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org. To learn more about public health efforts in the USVI visit doh.vi.gov, www.facebook.com/virginislandsdoh. For more information regarding Public Health Week activities in the USVI call 340-626-6290.

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