April 2-8 is National Public Health Week. Spearheaded by the American Public Health Association (APHA), organizations and individuals across the country are participating in activities to build a healthier nation. Each day of the week has a different theme: behavioral health, communicable diseases, environmental health, injury and violence prevention, and ensuring the right to health.
These are also important areas of focus for WSHA member hospitals. In the last several years, they have made considerable progress in improving public health in our state, including:
- Reducing early elective deliveries by 6.1 percent since 2014, leading to better outcomes for babies;
- Reducing opioid adverse events (as measured by emergency department visits) by 5.6 percent since 2016;
- Reducing hospital workers compensation claims by 39 percent since 2014, creating safer work environments;
- Increasing health care worker flu immunizations by 23 percent since 2014, creating healthier hospitals for both staff and patients;
- Reducing readmissions related to behavioral health issues by 19.9 percent since 2014; and
- Signing the American Hospital Association’s #123 for Equity Pledge. Currently 77 Washington hospitals have formally committed to reducing the disparities in care that exist around race, ethnicity, language and other social divides.
Additionally, WSHA continues to advocate on behalf of its members for policies that improve public health in Washington, such as increasing access to and funding for mental health services, decreasing violence in hospitals, improving access to care and reducing opioid addiction.
We are proud of our members and their contribution toward APHA’s goal “to create the healthiest nation in one generation.” APHA suggests numerous ways to celebrate the week, such as by attending events or taking part in physical activity challenges. If your hospital has any stories from National Public Health Week, please send them to us so we can share them through our social media!
WSHA Senior Vice President of Patient Safety & Quality