Public Health Month is a national observance highlighting public health practices and achievements. For Springfield, this month-long celebration draws attention to the cooperative efforts of local institutions, organizations and communities working to address our public health challenges by coordinating events that showcase local efforts.
Prevention is the strategy seen as most progressive in moving us toward a state of wellness. Increasing the focus on prevention will improve our quality of life and prosperity. Seven out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases (such as cancer and heart disease), and almost one out of every two adults has at least one chronic illness, many of which are preventable. Racial and ethnic minority communities experience higher rates of obesity, cancer, diabetes and AIDS. Today, almost one in every three children is overweight or obese which predisposes them to chronic disease and the numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities.
According to the County Health Rankings, 2012 health indicators, Hampden County ranks near the bottom. Out of a fifteen point scale, indicators for mortality and morbidity 11-14; tobacco user 8-10; diet and exercise 11-15; sexual activity, clinical care, access to care 11-15; quality of care 8-10 and all other measured factors were 11-14.
Focusing on preventing diseases and illness before they occur will create healthier homes, workplaces, schools and communities so that people can live long, productive lives thus reducing health care and disability.
Springfield’s institutions, organizations and citizen advocates are committed to making positive changes in the social and economic disparities in the community. Some examples are: physical/built environment, access to care, diet and exercise and sexual health in the neighborhoods.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) seeks a National Prevention Strategy which includes public and private partners to help Americans stay healthy and fit. The ACA envisions a health care system focus is not on sickness and disease on wellness and prevention. This graph speaks to the elements making up a prevention focused program.