The 2022 American Public Health Association National Public Health Week is April 4-10. This year’s theme, “Public health is where you are,” is apt for the team here at HealthLandscape. Most of us never considered public health when we went to college or made career plans. Some of us are sociologists. Some are geographers. I’m actually the only HealthLandscape team member with formal public health credentials, yet here we all are, spending our days working on public health-focused data analyses, mapping tools, and more. Public health is definitely “where we are.”
But of course, that’s not really what APHA means by “Public health is where you are.” The theme refers to the fact that public health happens everywhere, though you may never notice it. This is because public health works silently in the background to improve the health of the population. While you may rarely interact on a one-on-one basis with public health, that does not mean that public health is not there working for you. It’s the clean air you breathe and the safe water you drink. It’s the COVID-19 vaccination clinics and childhood vaccine registry programs. It’s the shortage designations that can increase funding for health care services and those who provide them. And it’s so much more.
Here at HealthLandscape, our multidisciplinary team builds tools that contribute to understanding many of the same issues that comprise this year’s National Public Health Week themes. In 2022, American Public Health Association National Public Health Week themes focus on racism, the public health workforce, community, world health, health equity, and climate change. Many of our online mapping tools highlight curated social determinants of health data, allowing us to visualize the health equity gap. Our tools feature small area data that support communities, as well as global-scale data to help us understand world health. Because our work is geographic in nature, and public health is where you are, explore our tools for your community. I invite you to dive in, peruse our work, and suggest new areas for focus and collaboration.