Every October we celebrate National Health Education week. Beginning in 1995, The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) honors national health education efforts at the community, state, and national levels. Per SOPHE, "NHEW is focused on increasing national awareness on major public health issues and promoting a better understanding of the role of health education."
We reached out to Karen Buckenheimer, Executive Director of MORE HEALTH in Tampa to learn about their efforts to educate young students on the importance of good health and establishing healthy habits at a young age.
Why is it important to teach young students about public health?
For over 30 years, MORE HEALTH, Inc. has been committed to enriching the lives of children, teens, and adults through health and safety education. Interactive lessons empower students with the knowledge to identify and adopt healthy and safe habits for a lifetime of good health.
Teaching young students lessons such as Organ Health, Heart Health, Nutrition, Brain Health, Personal Hygiene, and Infectious Disease Prevention, Firearm Safety, Bike, and Pedestrian Safety, and Dental health will hopefully establish those important healthy behaviors early in life.
How does blood donation play a role in public health?
Blood donation is truly a “gift of life”. Donating blood can save lives. Blood and plasma donation is especially vital during the Covid-19 pandemic. The need for donated blood is a constant need, and OneBlood’s centers throughout Florida are always in urgent need of donations. You will not only be someone’s hero, but you will benefit, too! There is no better feeling in the world than to give someone a “gift of life”.
Where can our community go to receive a better understanding of major public health issues?
The Tampa Bay area is blessed with some of the finest medical experts in the country. Tampa General Hospital, a sponsor of MH for over 28 years, is a leader in the field of public health issues, especially with the launch of their new infectious disease hospital. USF’s School of Medicine is highly regarded for its research and state of the art facilities.
We are also fortunate to have OneBlood, the leader in blood donation and procurement in the state. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is a fantastic hospital just for children. We really are fortunate to have so many resources and programs to help our community understand public health issues.
How can health education be a catalyst for change in our society?
MORE HEALTH truly believes that health education is a catalyst for change. Teaching students the importance of establishing healthy behaviors and adopting safe habits can be life-changing for them, for their family. One simple message can lead to a lifetime of good health. For example: “Did you know your teeth are meant to last a lifetime? By brushing, healthy nutrition, and regular dental check-ups, teeth can last forever!”
Another important message: Did you know that humans can have an artificial heart, but there is absolutely no substitute for human blood? Blood is life!” With the ever-increasing challenges facing young people today, our community needs MORE HEALTH now more than ever. We are proud to have taught over 4 million students since 1989 and look forward to a future of exceptional health for all.
To learn more about MORE HEALTH visit their website or join the conversation on their social channels.
Celebrate your health by saving lives and giving blood. Find a location near you here.