Luján, Roybal-Allard Introduce Resolution to Highlight National Public Health Week

Washington D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, introduced a resolution alongside Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) highlighting National Public Health Week, celebrated this week from April 4th – April 10th. This resolution is meant to raise awareness about public health challenges and also outlines issues facing the U.S. including pandemic preparedness, access to behavioral health services, addressing the maternal mortality crisis, improving child welfare, addressing health disparities among racial and ethnic groups, and recognizing the impact of climate change on health.

This resolution is endorsed by the American Public Health Association (APHA).

“Prioritizing public health and understanding where our system is strained must be a top priority,” said Senator Luján. “National Public Health week provides the opportunity to raise awareness about current health challenges and address longstanding disparities that have harmed countless Americans in New Mexico and across the country. As we celebrate this year’s theme, Public Health Is Where You Are, let us be clear that public health is a special combination of where our loved ones are physically and mentally. This underscores the need to act on issues ranging from the impact of the climate change, to the mental health crisis seen in our young people, to protecting mothers and their children by improving child welfare.”

“During this National Public Health Week we are recommitting ourselves to the responsibility of improving and protecting the health and well-being of all populations, especially the most vulnerable, including children, the elderly, the poor, and the underserved. For the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the existing social inequalities and health disparities within the communities where we live, work, and play. To ensure the health and well-being of all it remains critical that we continue to investigate disease determinants and risks, improve health care quality and delivery, and influence policy. Public health officials are convening this week over several themes to address the challenges our health care system faces. This includes racism and climate change as social determinants of health. Addressing these important factors can help us improve our safety and security; economic strength and overall quality of life. They are also championing community collaboration, healthcare accessibility, climate justice and an end to racism in healthcare. Public health must emphasize prevention and embrace collective, multifaceted action by health practitioners and researchers if it is to adequately respond to emerging health challenges. I sincerely wish to thank the Public Health Officials who continue to be deeply committed to a public health paradigm that employs a spectrum of interventions aimed at the environment, human behavior, lifestyle, and medical care that advances the health and well-being of the American people,” said Congresswoman Roybal-Allard. “It has been a distinct honor and great privilege to serve as the Co-Chair and Founder of the Congressional Public Health Caucus for the past 15 years. Throughout the years, this body has repeatedly fought for the passage of federal policies that facilitate improved overall health for the American people. Congress maintains a duty and responsibility to formulate and fund policy initiatives that continues this work and  promotes the public health of all people.”

“Recognizing the contributions of public health workers and the need for a well-resourced public health infrastructure is especially critical this year as we continue to stem the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. “We thank Senator Luján and all of the other original cosponsors for introducing this important resolution recognizing National Public Health Week and the important role public health plays in keeping our nation healthy and safe. Their committed leadership and support for public health are essential to our goal of creating the healthiest nation in one generation.”

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