, Salem, MA


October 3, 2011

Letter: Public health affects all aspects of our lives

To the editor:

What is "public health"?

It's a question that is often asked of me. It seems that most people don't understand what public health is, much less how it affects their everyday lives.

Given this, Salem State University nursing students will be joining a national initiative to educate residents on just how important a role public health plays in protecting their daily lives and wellbeing.

Instead of Band-aids, the nursing students will be out and about in Salem applying red-and-white "This is Public Health" removable stickers (shown above) to highlight, at least for a few days, where and how public health affects your life on a day-to-day basis.

From 'No Smoking' signs and emergency alerts to immunization and blood pressure clinics, from safe food and water and trash receptacles to bike paths and farmers' markets, public health is everywhere, safeguarding the places where we all live, work and play.

Simply put, public health is your health. Now do keep an eye out for those red-and-white stickers and when you see one, stop and think, "Aha! So this is public health!"

Dr. Barbara Poremba

Professor, Public Health Nursing

Salem State University

Chairperson, Board of Health

City of Salem

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