National Public Health Week April 1-7, 2013


National Public Health Week starts today!

Since 1995, communities from coast to coast have observed National Public Health Week every April, celebrating the work of public health and coming together in support of better health for all. This year’s theme is “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money.”

Much like the business world, ROI indicates the return on investments.

 Did you know?

  • The U.S. spends far more on health care than any other country, with such costs rising ten-fold from 1980 to 2010 and expected to rise faster than national income during the foreseeable future. However, investing just $10 per person each year in proven, community-based public health efforts could save the nation more than $16 billion within five years. That’s a $5.60 return for every $1 invested.(1)
  • Routine childhood immunizations save $9.9 million in direct health care costs, save 33,000 lives and prevent 14 million cases of disease.(2)
  • A $52 investment in a child safety seat prevents $2,200 in medical costs, resulting in a return of $42 for every $1 invested.(3) Similarly, a $12 investment in a child’s bicycle helmet can prevent $580 in medical costs, resulting in a return of $48 for every $1 invested.(4)
  • The cost of providing dental care for children enrolled in Medicaid and living in communities without fluoridation is twice as high as for children who receive the oral health benefits of drinking water fluoridation.(5)

Public health has a role in all of our lives and supporting evidence-based public health programs will result in healthier communities and reduced cost in treating diseases.  Join us this week in celebrating the role of public health in our lives.


  1. Levi, J. et al, Prevention for a Healthier America: Investments in Disease Prevention Yield Significant Savings, Stronger Communities. Trust for America’s Health. Feb. 2009.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fiscal Year 2011 President’s Budget Congressional Justification.
  3. Children’s Safety Network and Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. Injury Prevention: What Works? A Summary of Cost-Outcome Analysis for Injury Prevention Programs (2010 Update). Nov. 15, 2010.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Water Fluoridation and Costs of Medicaid Treatment for Dental Decay, Louisiana 1995-1996. MMWR September 1999. 48 (34); 753-757.