April: Public Health
National Public Health Week has started (April 3-9). What is public health? There’s the lengthy Wikipedia description, which cites public health as: “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals.”
Put simply, public health is about keeping communities healthy. You can see how our area compares to other regions at County Health Rankings. That web site shows, year by year, health outcomes and health factors by county.
As a non-profit hospital, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital takes its role in public health seriously. Our Primary Care Center, Heart Center, Surgical Center and outpatient services are a first line of prevention, diagnosis and treatment for common health conditions. Regular checkups and screenings, and healthy behaviors related to diet and exercise, go a long way toward individual health. Combined with our community education programs for diabetes and smoking cessation, we have a commitment to keeping our patients and neighbors healthy.
Another important part of public health is education. We are also working with other groups to bring workshops to the area. On April 19, the Erie County Department of Health will present a Community Opioid Overdose Recognition and Naloxone Use training. This evening workshop (6:30 p.m.) is free but registration is required. We appreciate the Springville Regional Services Coalition (SRSC) and the Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District for helping to coordinate and host this event.
An idea that came from discussions in SRSC meetings was a TIPS training for the community. On April 27 at 6 p.m., a representative from the Erie County Sheriff’s Department will deliver a skills-based training designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking and drunk driving. Individuals who work in restaurants, bars or retail stores where alcohol is sold, or who volunteer at events where alcohol is available, are strongly encouraged to attend. Many thanks to the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce for helping to coordinate and publicize this learning opportunity. (Call (716) 592-2871 ext. 1485 to register for one or both of these events)
Public health is an issue is a community effort. And it’s an issue where there is always more to do. Stay updated with news on how Bertrand Chaffee Hospital contributes to improving public health on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bchspringville.
Kara Kane, Community Relations Coordinator
Board member, Springville Area Chamber of Commerce