History of National Public Health Week

Since 1995, when the first full week of April was declared National Public Health Week (NPHW), communities across the United States have observed NPHW as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the public’s health.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) serves as the organizer of NPHW and develops a national campaign to educate the public, policymakers and practitioners about issues related to that year’s theme. APHA creates comprehensive planning, organizing and outreach materials that can be used during and after the week to raise awareness.


Healthiest Nation 2030

Despite what we often hear, Americans are not the healthiest people in the world. In the United States, we spend more on health care but live shorter lives and suffer more health issues than our peers in other high-income countries. This year, the Sarpy/Cass Health Department will focus on ways to improve the health of our communities, as well as to highlight the negative and positive trends affecting our health.

For more information about National Public Health Week, visit


Monday, April 6
Raising the Grade

The U.S. doesn’t have the top health care system – we have a great “sick care” system. We have great doctors, state-of-the-art hospitals and we’re leaders in advanced procedures and pharmaceuticals. But studies consistently show that despite spending twice as much, we trail other countries in life expectancy and almost all other measures of good health. This holds true across all ages and income levels. So what is missing?  We need a strong public health system that supports healthy communities and moves us toward preventing illness, disease and injury.

The following are a few resources to assist with disease prevention.

Health Screenings

The Health Department's Network of Care website provides resources for individuals and families concerned about their health and the health of their community. Check symptoms, engage in interactive tools, and find links to medications, health screenings, medical tests, and nationwide support groups.

Childhood developmental screenings

Every Woman Matters

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Prenatal Care

Prenatal care can help keep mothers and their babies healthy. Babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who do get care (source).

To promote the importance of prenatal care, the Health Department's Sharing and Caring program offers in-home visitation to pregnant women and new mothers.

Prenatal care information


Breastfeeding is recommended for at least the first year of a child’s life, and exclusively for the first 6 months. Longer lifetime durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risks of maternal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, longer durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risk of many common childhood infections and sudden infant death syndrome, as well as chronic conditions in offspring such as obesity, Type 1 diabetes, and leukemia (source).

Breastfeeding resources

2013 American Breastfeeding Report Card



Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood. In Sarpy and Cass counties, 7.4% of adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. More information about diabetes in Sarpy and Cass counties can be found on the Health Department's Network of Care "Adults with Diabetes" webpage.

Are you at risk for diabetes?

Eating out when you have diabetes


Tobacco Use

19% of adults in Cass County and 18% of adults in Sarpy County currently smoke every day or “most days” and have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime. Nearly 9 out of 10 smokers started smoking by age 18. Reducing youth access to tobacco products and providing prevention education to youths is key to reducing tobacco use.

Tobacco Free Nebraska

Nebraska Tobacco Quitline - 1-800-QUIT-NOW


Tuesday, April 7
Starting From Zip

Today, your ZIP code says far too much about your health. Within the United States, there are unacceptable disparities in health, state-by-state and even county-by-county. The effort to make the U.S. the Healthiest Nation in One Generation starts with ensuring equity across our communities.

County Health Rankings

The annual County Health Rankings measure vital health factors, including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, unemployment, access to healthy foods, the quality of air and water, income, and teen births in nearly every county in America. The annual Rankings provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play ( To see how your county or the State of Nebraska ranked in 2014, click one of the links below.

Cass County, 2014

Sarpy County, 2014

Nebraska, 2014


Wednesday, April 8

Building Momentum

Influential leaders, companies and organizations are taking important steps in line with creating the healthiest nation. Recent changes have demonstrated momentum is building around a higher commitment to our nation's public health.

National Healthy Advances

Let's Move!
Michelle Obama's campaign to address and lower childhood obesity rates.

U.S. Food Manufacturers Cut Calories
Major U.S. food manufacturers pledged to cut calories in U.S. foods.


Thursday, April 9
Building Broader Connections

In the work to become the healthiest nation, we can't do it all on our own. We have to expand our partnerships to collaborate with city planners, education officials, public, private and for-profit organizations. Today, let's focus on our network of partners and connections needed to make the U.S. the Healthiest Nation in One Generation.

Local Communities

Cass County Government

Sarpy County Government

Sarpy and Cass County Communities

State Organizations

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

Nebraska Department of Agriculture

Nebraska Department of Education

Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality

Nebraska Legislature

Local Non-Profit Prevention Organizations

Tobacco Free Sarpy


Live Well Omaha

Project Extra Mile

Heartland Family Service, Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse



Friday, April 10
Building on 20 Years of Success

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the American Public Health Association coordinating National Public Health Week, and the accomplishments of the public health community over the last two decades are significant. Let's celebrate these accomplishments and bring a renewed focus to the work ahead - and what it will take to become the Healthiest Nation in One Generation.

Public Health Achievements

Ten of the greatest public health achievements according to the CDC are: