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Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
April 04, 2006

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Nathan Rudy

DHSS Recognizes National Public Health Awareness Week


New Jersey's Department of Health and Senior Services encourages all New Jerseyans to recognize National Public Health Awareness Week, which is being held from April 3 to 9.  This year is the eleventh such designation, and the theme is "Designing Healthy Communities: Raising Healthy Kids."


"Public health agencies continuously work to improve the quality and length of life for all residents of New Jersey, and National Public Health Awareness Week is an excellent time to raise awareness of the importance of these efforts and the people who perform them," said Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.  "The hundreds of other services provided by New Jersey's public health professionals combine to make New Jersey a healthier and safer place to live and raise children." 


New Jersey has 115 local public health agencies in addition to the state Department of Health and Senior Services that serve the needs of every community throughout the state.  Some of the many services they provide include:


  • Restaurant inspections to ensure safe and healthy food preparation;
  • Cancer screening and tracking to identify cancer threats for individuals and communities;
  • Animal control to remove unhealthy and dangerous strays and feral animals from contact with people and pets;
  • Disease surveillance to identify and proactively address potential outbreaks;
  • Free or low-cost primary care, pharmaceutical and other health care services for the un- and under-insured; and
  • Registering and inspecting hospitals and long-term care facilities to ensure quality health care is available in all areas of the state.

"If you buy food in a store, have pets, send your children to school or even just use tap water then you are being protected by New Jersey's public health community," said Commissioner Jacobs.


In recognition of National Public Health Awareness Week, Dr. Jacobs will speak at the New Jersey Health Officers Association (NJHOA) meeting this Thursday at the PNC Arts Center.  Together with NJHOA President John Hopper, Dr. Jacobs will hand out citations to the student winners of this year's NJHOA public health essay contest, who will also receive video iPods from NJHOA.


NJHOA received more than 500 student entries on how public health impacts their lives in the categories based on grade level.  The winners are: Janae Baker of Monmouth Junction, grades 7-8; Christina Hou, Academy of Colts Neck, grades 9-10; and Yi Liao of Highland Park, grades 10-11.

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