robesonian.com

Week spotlights public health

By Sarah Willets swillets@civitasmedia.com

April 5, 2014

LUMBERTON — County employees and residents alike are flexing their muscles — and testing their health knowledge — for National Public Health Week.


According to Melissa Packer, the Health Department’s assistant director, participating in National Public Health Week — this year themed “Join the Movement” — is as much about educating the public as it is about celebrating the work employees do.


The event began Tuesday when all county employees were asked to participate in a quiz testing their knowledge of public health — including where the county ranks in a recent report on health in North Carolina. Thursday, the Health Department held a 5K in Luther Britt Park for county employees and their families.


Educational and fitness activities will continue through the week.


Environmental Health will set up shop in the department lobby to educate the public and other divisions of the department in the building’s lobby on Monday starting at 9 a.m.


On Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Health Education division will cover sexual health, drug abuse and safe driving. Employees will give condom demonstrations and information on sexually transmitted diseases. Attendees can also try to walk a straight line wearing “drunk-driving” goggles, hear about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and learn smoking-related facts by playing “tobacco bingo.”


Emergency preparedness will be covered from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Thursday, the department will host healthy eating and exercise demonstrations during that time.


Packer said the events help department employees learn about divisions other than their own.


The week concludes with a health fair at Turner Terrace on Friday beginning at noon and a Relay for Life“Colors for Cancer” 5K downtown on Saturday. The run starts at 9 a.m. and registration starts at 7:30 a.m.


“We’re doing what the national observance is all about — joining the movement,” said Packer.


The Health Department is located at 460 Country Club Road.