The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and its partners in local public health celebrated Michigan Public Health Week April 14-20. The national theme this year was, “Public Health is ROI: Saves Lives, Saves Money.”
Every year in the United States, seven out of 10 deaths are due to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and of those, many cases can be prevented with lifestyle changes and public health
interventions. In fact, chronic diseases account for a whopping 75 percent of national health care spending, yet only 3 percent of our health care dollars go toward prevention. Here in Michigan, two-
thirds of our adults are either overweight or obese, which can lead to costly and potentially life- threatening chronic diseases. But there are steps we can take to help turn these statistics around.
Today, MDCH and its partners held its annual Public Health Week celebration to honor those committed to showing other Michigan residents the fun, easy and small steps they can take to make
prevention a part of their lives. The event also showcased the value of investing in prevention: research shows that investing just $10 per person each year in proven, community-based public health efforts can save the nation more than $16 billion within five years. That’s a $5.60 return for every $1 invested.
The event, which is one of hundreds of National Public Health Week events happening in communities nationwide, was attended by public health leaders and other community members.
During the event, three Michigan Health Policy Champions and eight Michigan Hometown Health
Heroes were honored for their efforts in supporting public policies to improve the health and safety of Michigan residents.
Michigan’s 2013 Health Policy Champions include:
• Jean C. Chabut with the Michigan Department of Community Health, retired
• Clare-Gladwin Health Improvement Group
• James Phillips, MD with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency, retired.