Washington, DC, November 24, 2021 — As we give thanks during the start of the holiday season, public health organizations including the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) take time to recognize and honor the professionals who work so diligently to keep their communities healthy and safe. NACCHO represents our country’s nearly 3,000 local health departments and their approximately 150,000 workers.
It is often said public health success stories are invisible. We are not aware of the foodborne illnesses that are prevented, because of inspections that stop the sale of contaminated food. We cannot count the number of vaccine-preventable illnesses that didn’t take hold, because local health departments offered free vaccinations to their communities. And we can’t count how many new moms delivered healthy babies because of interventions by their local health department. But these healthy outcomes occur each day thanks to the work of local health departments.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, health department staff have been on the front lines, whether it be providing testing services, performing case investigations to identify individuals at risk, offering accessible options for vaccination, or answering questions from community members and businesses. For the past two years, they have been tested as never before. While this has led many of us to better understand—and appreciate—their selfless efforts on our behalf, it has also led to increased threats to their safety. Harassment and threats have added to the already immense pressure public health officials are experiencing, as they do their jobs to prevent illness and death.
We stand with public health. On National Public Health Thank You Day, November 22, 2021, we saluted all public health workers in communities across the country who perform they jobs under extremely trying conditions to keep us all healthy and safe. Please join us in sharing your respect and gratitude for them and their efforts.
Please click here to view a message from our Chief Operating Officer Lori Tremmel Freeman.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the country’s nearly 3,000 local health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.