This week (April 6-12), the American Public Health Association (APHA) is celebrating National Public Health Week (NPHW) 2009, with the theme of Building the Foundation for a Healthy America, according to a APHA press release.

This year, NPHW aims to raise awareness of public health’s critical role in improving the U.S. health system. The week is coordinated by the APHA and supported by the work of more than 500,000 public health workers, as well as scores of national, state and local partner organizations.

In conjunction with NPHW, APHA is launching Healthiest Nation in One Generation, a new viral video campaign aimed at raising awareness of the role of public health in ensuring a healthy America and illustrating how investments in public health can dramatically improve health outcomes in the span of one generation. The video can be viewed at www.generationpublichealth.org and easily shared with friends, family and coworkers.

“With debate around health reform underway, this year’s theme is particularly timely and relevant,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “As a nation, we spend far more on health care than any other country, yet we fall short in many of the important measures of what it means to be healthy. Investing in public health, focusing on communities to prevent disease and injury, and promoting healthy behaviors are essential if we hope to succeed in improving health, reducing costs and reforming our health system.”

Communities throughout the nation will be holding events in support of NPHW. The NPHW Toolkit contains all the resources needed to get involved in NPHW, including facts and figures, tips for writing to elected officials or local newspapers, and ideas on how to make a difference. The NPHW Calendar lists events occurring during the week in communities around the country.

For more than a decade, the American Public Health Association has organized National Public Health Week to educate the public, policy-makers and the public health community about critical public health challenges the nation is facing. Learn more about this year’s NPHW and how to make this the “healthiest nation in one generation” by visiting www.nphw.org.