It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a community effort to raise a healthy child. Creating a better environment for children that will allow them to grow up stronger and healthier is the focus of this year’s National Public Health Week.

President Clinton declared the first week of April as National Public Health Week in 1995. For the past 11 years, the American Public Health Association and state health departments have used this week to raise awareness about how to use the public health services to improve communities.

The theme for this year is “Designing Healthy Communities: Raising Healthy Kids,” giving special emphasis to improving public health services for children, including the need for preventive health care such as well-child exams, immunizations, access to clean drinking water, exercise and proper eating habits. In each region of the state, local Department of Health and Hospitals’ Offices of Public Health will provide information about the different programs available through the parish health units and outreach programs.

OPH ‘s Parish Health Units throughout the state will provide a variety of health awareness events and promotions for all Louisianans to help individuals enhance the health of their community and children.

For more information on public health activities taking place in your region, please contact your local Office of Public Health (a list of regional phone numbers is included below.) Or, visit the OPH Web site at and click on the “National Public Health Week” logo for more information.

    * Alexandria area --- (318) 487-5262
    * Baton Rouge area --- (225) 925-7200    
    * Florida Parishes --- (985) 871-1300
    * Houma/Thibodaux area --- (985) 447-0916   
    * Lafayette area --- (337) 262-5311    
    * Lake Charles area --- (337) 475-3200
    * Monroe area --- (318) 361-7201
    * New Orleans area --- (504) 599-0100    
    * Shreveport area --- (318) 676-7470