The third week of October is National Health Education Week, a concerted effort to promote an understanding of public health issues and increase health literacy nationwide. Organized by the Society for Public Health Education, the event focuses on several themes, using each day of the week to highlight a different area.
Health education encompasses a knowledge of current issues in both public and personal health. In order to improve health in the individual and in society overall, it is crucial to examine both types of these issues.
What is public health?
Most people are familiar with personal health—brushing one's teeth, getting regular checkups at the family doctor, maintaining good diet and exercise habits—all focused on improving the health of the individual. Public health is concerned with the wellness of society at large. Global or national health organizations are usually responsible for teaching and protecting the public. Some examples of public health measures include monitoring and containing outbreaks of disease, vaccination programs to prevent the spread of infectious organisms, and the distribution of condoms to combat the transmission of STDs. While the government can protect the public from many forms of disease, ultimately it is up to the individual to protect oneself.
What is health literacy?
National Health Education Week is primarily concerned with improving health literacy, or the ability of individuals to understand medical information about their body and wellness. We can't all go to medical school to understand the intricacy of the human body and the diseases that plague it, but we can have a foundation of health knowledge to protect ourselves and others. This includes being able to understand instructions on prescription drug bottles, follow doctors' directions for treatment, and be aware of when to get physical exams and health screenings.
For more information about National Health Education Week or to schedule an appointment for a health assessment, contact our office. ProPartnersMD is based in Kansas City and can be reached by calling (877) 342-7709 or by visiting our website. We specialize in men's health, executive physicals, and corporate care.