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.


Public Health: Start Here

This year, the Sarpy/Cass Health Department will focus on ways to guide our community through the evolving public health system with the theme: “Public Health: Start Here.” Each day this week, the Health Department will be highlighting different ways that public health affects the lives of our citizens and offer guidance on how to navigate the changing system. Whether it’s through research, data collection, health education, policy change or direct services, public health lays the foundation and creates the conditions that put healthy choices within reach.

A recent change that will impact the public health system is the enactment of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Taking two U.S. health systems — public health and health care — and bringing them into each other’s world, the ACA envisions more collaboration between the health workforces to save lives and money. The ACA signals a shift in our nation’s health system from one that focuses on treatment of the sick to one that is committed to proactively keeping people and communities healthy and safe.

For more information about National Public Health Week, visit

On Saturday, April 12, Safe Kids Sarpy/Cass will be hosting the Spring Safety Event and Bike Rodeo at the Plattsmouth Community Center. This free event will include CPR demonstrations, interactive safety games, scooter races, and prize giveaways for kids and adults. For more information about this event, contact Jane at 402-339-4334 ext. 210.

An 11 x 17 copy of the Health Department's Prepare and Prevent activity placemat for kids can be printed here.


Monday, April 7
Be Healthy From the Start

Public health starts at home. From family nutrition and maternal health to safety precautions and disaster preparedness, the first step the community takes toward public health are in the comfort of their own home. Empower your community to take action at home through better meal planning, conducting safety upgrades and preparing for emergencies.

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

Healthy Eating and Exercise Habits in Children

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Be an Active Family



Staying healthy as a senior

Nebraska Advance Directives

Advanced care planning


Tuesday, April 8
Don't Panic

Public health professionals help communities withstand the impact of a natural or man-made disaster by planning ahead, acting as a source of information during the crisis and helping to mitigate the long- and short-term effects. During NPHW 2014, share tips for disaster preparedness with your community so they can take steps at home to plan ahead for the unexpected.

Personal and Family Preparedness

The Sarpy/Cass Health Department wants our citizens to be prepared for disasters and emergencies. More often than not, disasters occur with little or no warning. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.

Know the risks in your community. Make a plan to address these risks. Prepare a supplies kit.

Seasonal Influenza

Influenza Vaccines

Emergency preparedness for kids

Mickey Mouse disaster preparedness activity book

Family emergency communication plan

Emergency supply kits

Natural disasters

American Sign Language videos for emergency preparedness


Wednesday, April 9

Get Out Ahead

Prevention is now a nationwide priority, and as the public health system evolves, there are more options than ever when it comes to preventive health measures. Public health and clinical health professionals must work collaboratively to help individuals identify and pursue the best preventative health options.

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)


Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Nebraska's STD Program

STD testing locations in the Omaha metro



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

Thursday, April 10
Eat Well

The system that keeps our nation’s food safe and healthy is complex. There is a lot of information to parse in order to understand food labels and to learn the best practices during a food borne illness outbreak. Public health professionals can help guide people through their choices.

Food Safety

Safe food handling

Nebraska Food Code

Nebraska nutrition and food safety

Fight Bac - food safety for kids

Healthy Eating

Super Tracker: personalized nutrition and physical activity plan

Healthy food games and activities for kids

Farmers markets in the Omaha metro area

Dietary guidelines for Americans

Tips for eating healthy when eating out

2013 State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and Veggies, More Matters: what is a serving of fruits and vegetables?


Friday, April 11
Be the Healthiest Nation in One Generation

For the first time in decades, the current generation isn’t as healthy as the one that came before. Communities need to band together to take a stance against this disturbing trend to make sure that children and young adults have bright, healthy futures. Public health professionals can lead the way by helping communities identify the resources and information available to keep everyone healthy and safe.


Nebraska Immunization Program

CDC vaccination recommendations

Vaccine Education Center

Accident Prevention and Safety

Is you child in the right car seat?


Health Insurance

Affordable Care Act