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Florida Health in Duval Celebrates National Public Health Week

By Alison A. Hewitt

April 03, 2018

Alison A. Hewitt


Jacksonville, Fla.—The Florida Department of Health in Duval County is celebrating National Public Health Week (NPHW) from April 2-8. This year’s theme is “Changing Our Future Together,” which highlights the importance of engaging communities and partners in all sectors as public health workers strive to put health within everyone’s reach. This week is also a time to celebrate the contributions of the people who are dedicated to public health.

“National Public Health Week gives us an opportunity to recognize and celebrate public health professionals who work collaboratively and tirelessly to ensure all people have the opportunity to reach their full health potential,” said Dr. Kelli Wells, Deputy Secretary for the Florida Department of Health and Director of DOH-Duval. “It also provides an opportunity for us to actively engage the communities we work in to advance health equity. Collaboration with community partners and members of the community is critical when it comes to public health initiatives. Everyone has a role in public health advocacy.”  

Each day of NPHW focuses on a different public health topic that is critical to ensuring healthy communities. The following are the daily themes for 2018:

Monday – Behavior Health

Tuesday – Communicable Diseases

Wednesday – Environmental Health

Thursday – Injury and Violence Prevention

Friday – Ensuring the Right to Health

In honor of NPHW, DOH-Duval will be holding its annual all staff training on health equity on Friday, April 6. 

Public health workers in DOH-Duval are working to meet the specific needs of our community members guided by our Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Our CHIP includes strategies that address each crucial health area identified by NPHW.  Notable public health efforts that are taking place in our community include:

  • The City of Jacksonville Opioid Epidemic Pilot Project dubbed “Project Save Lives” – This project was established within Duval County and provides specialized, coordinated and seamless services for the treatment of opioid addiction and misuse, thereby reducing dependence on opioid drugs. Project Save Lives began on November 16, 2017 and has actively engaged 30 participants through residential/outpatient and peer support services as of March 21, 2018.
  • Duval County Substance Exposed Newborn Workgroup – A group of key community partners convene regularly to discuss interventions being implemented for substance exposed newborns and their families. Goals and strategies of this workgroup include: prescreening, testing at birth, neonatal service for infants and parents, and services throughout childhood and adolescent. The group recently served 57 people using these strategies.
  • DOH-Duval’s Sharps Collection Program was selected as a 2017 Model Practice by the National Association of County and City Health Officials Model Practices Program. Duval County’s first Public Sharps Collection Program is designed to safely collect sharps, syringes and other potentially dangerous items from home users and properly dispose of them to ensure the safety of Duval County residents and visitors.
  • DOH-Duval’s Teen Health Center program reaches nearly 11,500 students enrolled in the 7 priority schools as part of efforts supported by CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) cooperative agreement PS13-1308: Promoting Adolescent Health Through School-Based HIV/STD Prevention and School-Based Surveillance. Since Teen Health Centers launched, fewer teens in Duval County are sexually active; and those who are sexually active are having safer sex.  All centers offer HIV, other STD testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, access to condoms, and health education.

To learn how the department is celebrating each day of #NPHW, be sure to follow the department on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. Follow DOH-Duval on Twitter @FLHealthDuval.

To learn more about NPHW and how you can get involved, visit

About the Florida Department of Health 

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit