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For Release:
April 07, 2009

Heather Howard

For Further Information Contact:
Dawn Thomas
(609) 984-7160

DHSS Recognizes National Public Health Week


In recognition of National Public Health Week, Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard highlights the role that public health plays in keeping New Jersey residents safe and healthy.


“Public Health has been the cornerstone for most of the health achievements of the 20th Century,” said Commissioner Howard. “Advances in maternal and child health, sanitation and clean water, immunizations, infectious disease control, food safety, declines in deaths from heart disease and stroke and environmental health protections -- were all spearheaded through public-health initiatives.”


Commissioner Howard recently testified in Washington, D.C. on the role that public health should play as the nation moves forward with health care reform. The Commissioner delivered her testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Congressman Frank Pallone, on March 31.


As part of her testimony, Commissioner Howard reminded committee members that “investments in public health and prevention are essential elements in transformational health reform.”


She added, “A focus on public health is what will make health care reform sustainable—both as far as finances and improving people’s well-being. As we enhance prevention—by managing chronic diseases better and reducing obesity rates--we will reduce skyrocketing health care costs and achieve significant cost savings over the long run.”


For more than a decade, the American Public Health Association has organized National Public Health Week, which runs April 6-12, to educate the public, policy-makers and the public health community about critical public health challenges the nation is facing.


This year’s theme is Building the Foundation for a Healthy America.  The theme, “Building the Foundation for a Healthy America,” aims to establish the critical role public health must play as we focus our efforts on improving our nation’s health.

For more information on National Public Health Week, please visit:

To view Commissioner Howard’s full testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health, please visit:




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