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  NOVEMBER 18, 2011
Leading Health Groups Honor Public Health Heroes who Improve Quality of Life

ThankYouAs Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, Research!America and leading public health organizations, including ASPH, honor public health agencies and professionals who work diligently to protect the health of all Americans. Public Health Thank You Day 2011, the Monday of Thanksgiving week, salutes those heroes who develop vaccines to combat disease, keep the air and water clean, quickly respond to foodborne illnesses, and so much more to improve quality of life. 

A new public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America shows 86 percent of Americans say it’s important to increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more than half say the government should play a role in prevention research to help Americans make behavioral changes to reduce their risk for chronic diseases.

"The CDC and other public health heroes work consistently behind the scenes to protect the health of Americans with effective prevention strategies," said former Congressman John Edward Porter, Research!America’s chair. "Policy makers should acknowledge their efforts with a stronger investment in public health research."

"Many public health professionals currently lack sufficient resources to address a tidal wave of health issues in communities across the country yet manage to prevent disease and save lives despite the challenges," said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. "We must not only applaud their accomplishments but also make a concerted effort to increase and protect funding for prevention initiatives moving forward."

Public health professionals such as nurses, health department workers, safety inspectors and others who investigate health threats, design safety guidelines, ensure the nation is prepared in the event of a pandemic or bioterrorist attack, and fulfill other critical public health responsibilities are among those being honored for their contributions.

"Public Health Thank You Day is a reminder to recognize public health heroes for their invaluable work in all that they do to protect us from deadly and disabling diseases," said Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley. "Elected officials must ramp up resources to the CDC and other agencies that work on the front lines each day combating our nation’s health threats."

Public Health Thank You Day partners include the Campaign for Public Health Foundation, American Public Health Association, Association of Schools of Public Health, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and National Association of County & City Health Officials.

Research!America launched Public Health Thank You Day in 2005 to salute public health officials. Materials and further information are available at