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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Florida Department of Health in Putnam County Celebrates National Public Health Week – The Florida Way

By Mary Garcia

April 03, 2017

Palatka, Fla. - This week is National Public Health Week and the Florida Department of Health is giving Floridians an inside look at some of the careers behind public health and the dedicated professionals who do them. Each day, the department will highlight a different area of public health including epidemiology, emergency preparedness and response, environmental health and public health nursing. These fields and many more help the department carry out our mission to promote, protect and improve the health of Florida residents and visitors.

"Public health professionals across the state make it their life's work to keep people and communities healthy; from preventing or containing disease outbreaks like Zika to increasing vaccination rates to maintaining water or air quality" said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. Celeste Philip. "During National Public Health Week, I want to express my deep appreciation for the lifesaving work being done in our state to protect public health and I encourage all Floridians to join me today and #ThankaPublicHealthPro."

Last year, the department was the first state in the nation to receive national accreditation as an integrated department of health through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Accreditation by PHAS signifies that the department, including the state health office and all 67 county health departments, is meeting national standards for ensuring essential public health services are provided in the community.

For the next two years, the department will focus on several key areas to improve health in our state including increasing childhood vaccination rates, achieving health equity in all communities, developing a high quality trauma service, reducing HIV infection rates, reducing infant mortality rates, decreasing inhaled nicotine use and decreasing licensure processing time for health care professionals.

"During Public Health Week, the Department of Health in Putnam County is hosting a #TEENS4HEALTH Teen Health Fair for 7th-12th graders in the Putnam County School District," said Mary Garcia, Putnam County health officer. "The goal is to increase health awareness by providing activities, materials, demonstrations and information. The learning stations include Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Relationships, HIV/AIDS and STDs, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Dangers of Drugs and Alcohol, the Consequences of Tobacco Use, Students Working Against Tobacco, and an "Ask a Nurse" booth. We are honored to be joined by the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, the Putnam County Emergency Operations Center and the Putnam Community Medical Center in this initiative. We will be visiting all Middle and High Schools in Putnam County in the month of April."

Use #ThankAPublicHealthPro on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to recognize a public health professional in your area during National Public Health Week.

For more information about National Public Health Week, please visit For more information about the different programs and services offered at DOH-Putnam please visit or call 386-326-3200.

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