April 7, 2021

Montgomery County Thanks Public Health Workers During National Public Health Week

Throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, the public health efforts in Montgomery County and communities across the United States have been in the spotlight. This week, the County joined in the celebration of National Public Health Week, which runs through Sunday.

Public health services’ programs, which are part of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), monitor health status and implement intervention strategies to contain or prevent disease. These intervention strategies include fighting bioterrorism and emerging diseases.

“For the last year, I have witnessed the incredible work and dedication of our public health staff and the much-needed assistance they have provided to our residents during these very difficult times,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I think that we all have learned how vital the health department is to our community, and National Public Health Week is our time to recognize and thank the people who have worked tirelessly to protect our quality of life and make Montgomery County a healthier place for all.”

In the past year, the County’s public health services:
  • Provided more than 500,000 COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Created and shared a detailed “10-year Plan to End HIV in Montgomery County.” The plan, with a goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030, addresses the expansion of four key HIV response service areas: diagnosis, treatment, prevention and response to outbreaks. The plan came out of the County’s designation as a priority jurisdiction for the Federal “Ending the HIV Epidemic” initiative.
  • Received national accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The PHAB accreditation program is jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It sets standards against which the nation’s nearly 3,000 public health departments can continuously improve the quality of services and performance.
“Unlike any time in recent history, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the work of public health professionals here and across the world,” said Travis Gayles, the County health officer and chief of public health services. “It has also shed light on the ongoing issues of health equity, which is a fundamental right, not a privilege. The most effective way to prevent the spread of disease is through public health measures. The greatest wealth one can attain is their health and well-being. The biggest threat to public health is indifference and the greatest medicine is comprised of compassion.”

The annual week of recognition is sponsored by the American Public Health Association. More information about the special week and its themes can be viewed here.