The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners proudly declared the first week of April 2024 National Public Health Week in Otter Tail County. This annual observance, held during the first full week of April, honors the role of public health in the communities and spotlights key topics for well-being. This year’s theme is “Protecting, Connecting, and Thriving: We Are All Public Health.”

“The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners would like to thank the public health professionals for serving the residents of Otter Tail County by promoting health and well-being and enhancing the quality of life for all residents,” Board Chair Kurt Mortenson.

National Public Health Week’s goal is to acknowledge the contributions of public health professionals. These dedicated staff work with partners from various sectors of local communities, including cities and townships, schools, and businesses, recognizing the many factors influencing health outcomes.

“We would like to thank all our public health professionals throughout the county for their hard work and dedication in promoting and supporting health initiatives and disease prevention efforts in our communities,” said Commissioner Wayne Johnson, a member of the Health and Wellness Committee.

Across Minnesota, communities are seeing a shift towards proactive health practices, including tobacco cessation, adoption of healthier diets, increased physical activity, and increased focus on mental health and well-being, underlining the importance of public health initiatives. According to the American Public Health Association, studies show that strategic investments in disease prevention yield substantial savings in healthcare costs.

Jody Lien, Public Health Director, emphasized the importance of National Public Health Week. 

“It is a great time to acknowledge and celebrate our staff and partners in Public Health.  It is also an opportunity to share more about what public health does: how we work to prevent disease and injury, how we promote health through working with individuals and communities, and how we work to protect health through food safety, healthy environments, and safe drinking water,” she said. 

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners supports National Public Health Week 2024, acknowledging and celebrating the ongoing dedicated service of public health professionals in promoting healthy communities where individuals can thrive.