November 21 Honors Public Health Heroes

November 18, 2005

November 21 marks the inaugural Public Health Thank You Day. The Texas A&M Health Science Center would like to give special thanks to their local ‘public health heroes’ who protect the nation’s health throughout the year.
Joining The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, are Resarch!America, American Public Health Association, Association of Schools of Public Health, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), and National Association of County & City Health Officials.
Locally, The Texas A&M Health Science Center’s School of Rural Public Health works to improve the health of communities, with emphasis on rural and underserved populations, through education, research, service, outreach, and creative partnership.
“The School of Rural Public Health is committed to developing a knowledgeable and compassionate public health workforce and improving the health of our communities through research on priority health issues, education of health professionals and the community, and public health interventions that impact communities in need, particularly those in rural area,” said Dr. Ciro Sumaya, dean of the School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center.
In a national survey by Research!America, 74% of Americans say they and their community benefit from public health services such as childhood vaccine programs, restaurant sanitation and safety inspections, inspections of drinking water quality, daycare safety and health inspections, disease outbreak investigations, and emergency response and bioterrrorism prevention.
Research!America polls have found that 80% of Americans say the U.S. should invest more in state and local health departments, and 71% say too little is currently spent on public health research. Nearly seven in 10 (68%) say at least twice as much should be spent on public health research.
George E. Hardy, Jr., MD, MPH, executive director of ASTHO, said, “We all owe a debt of gratitude to our public health professionals at the local, state and federal level. These unsung heroes devote their lives to making it possible for us to live in a safer, healthier world.”

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