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Veterans Health Administration

Veterans: Do Your Part for a Healthier America

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“A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement!”

VA will observe National Public Health Week April 2-8 as way to promote healthy habits and safe practices among Veterans and staff.

With over 8 million Veterans enrolled in its health care system, a healthier VA population contributes to a healthier America.

This year’s theme is “A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement!” VA encourages all Veterans to join the movement by making good choices.

Whether you quit smoking, eat healthier meals, or visit your doctor for a routine health screening, such as HIV testing, you are doing your part for a healthier America.

To VA, Public Health Week is more than an opportunity for short-term empowerment. It kicks off a season-long campaign for increased health awareness and action.

“VA…encourages people to take action to improve their individual health, which ultimately improves the health of the whole community.”

Following Public Health Week, VA will observe National Hepatitis Awareness Month in May, National HIV Testing Day in June, World Hepatitis Day in July, and National Immunization Awareness Month in August.

“VA promotes these events because they raise awareness and encourage people to take action to improve their individual health, which ultimately improves the health of the whole community — Veterans, Veteran’s families, employees, and employee’s families,” said Dr. Victoria J. Davey, Chief Officer of VA Public Health.

“The two most important actions people can take are to stop smoking and to keep their vaccinations current.”

Smoking One of the Biggest Health Challenges

Smoking is a leading cause of illness and premature death. With Veteran smoking rates higher than that of the general U.S. population, smoking and tobacco cessation is one of VA’s biggest public health challenges.

To help Veterans and employees quit smoking and tobacco use, VA offers cessation counseling and various nicotine replacement therapies.

As for vaccinations, “Everyone from young adults to senior citizens can benefit from them,” says Davey. “Vaccines can play an important role in keeping Veterans and [VA health care] employees healthy.”

Because small actions like keeping your vaccinations current can result in big health benefits, join the movement for a Healthier America during National Public Health Week.

National Public Health Week is an annual event created by proclamation in 1995 by President Bill Clinton to highlight the importance of public health.