The original item was published from November 17, 2017 8:44 AM to November 17, 2017 8:49 AM
As Americans, we take many things for granted, like freedom and clean water. Not far down my list are federal, state, and local agencies that exist to help protect and improve the lives of others.
While some countries are dealing with atrocities we can hardly comprehend, we have dedicated public health professionals who work day in and day out to treat and prevent disease outbreaks, research and promote ways we can prevent injury and live healthier lifestyles, and help us prepare for natural disasters.
Much of the work done by public health workers is done behind the scenes, and we aren’t even aware of efforts being made until there is a virus getting world-wide attention such as the Zika Virus or Ebola. We don’t often stop to think about all the dangers that have essentially been eradicated because of the efforts of dedicated health professionals.
As Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, once said, “It’s easy to miss public health successes—you don’t see the heart attacks that don’t happen, the years added to the lives of those who quit smoking, or the flu death avoided because of vaccines.”
At the City of Derby, we experience first-hand what the Sedgwick County Health Department offers in the way of free health-related resources (www.sedgwickcounty.org/healthdept). We regularly receive health and wellness tips that we pass along to employees. We also take advantage of the free posters from their website to remind people in city buildings about the importance of handwashing as well as other ways to prevent the flu. We use the Mobile Clinic for low-cost vaccinations for emergency service workers. These may seem like simple things, but they make a difference.
I encourage you to take a minute to think about those who are dedicated to helping ensure the health of you and your family, especially those who are on the front line, risking their lives in an effort to save ours. If you feel inspired to say “thank you,” send a quick e-mail to the agency of your choice or give them a shout-out on Facebook to let them know their work is appreciated.
Human Resources Director
Published in the Derby Informer on Nov. 15, 2017.