This health column has appeared in various publications over the past 30 years. Each column tries to focus on an issue related to prevention of health issues and promotes information on how to improve or maintain good health. Sometimes the topics follow national themes and other times they follow local themes. What Quinnipiack Valley Health District (QVHD) wants to know from you is: What do you want to know about? What topics would you like QVHD to cover? What interests you? Do you have a desire to be more involved with community health issues?
What has been learned over the years is that people often do not relate to information until they have a reason to know. This is a dilemma for health professionals. As professionals in the health arena, we often write about topics that we know can make a difference to a person’s health. But if the topic does not seem interesting or relevant to you, you may not heed the advice or even bother to read the information. You may not incorporate it into the way you live your life. It may only become relevant when you have a reason to know. And then it is too late for prevention.
Public health prevention messages focus on actions you can take to prevent an illness or injury from occurring. You see these messages and recommended strategies in this health column as well as in magazines, on television and on the internet. For many years, this column has offered prevention messages on a myriad of topics. Sun safety and sunscreens are an example. However, convincing those at greatest risk (those who do not follow sun safety rules) is a very hard task. They may read the information or even know the risks, yet they choose to ignore it. Only when they are diagnosed with skin cancer do they begin to heed the messages, but by then, the opportunity for prevention has passed.
As a health educator, I feel an obligation to continue bringing you prevention messages on common health problems that can be prevented. They are not necessarily the most glamorous topics to write about and it can be hard to make them exciting. However, they are important topics. Heeding the prevention messages they contain can make a big difference to your health. Please tell us what you would like information on or how QVHD can help you to stay healthy! District residents (Bethany, Hamden, North Haven and Woodbridge) can call Deb Culligan, 203 248-4528, send a request/comment online, www.qvhd.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to know what you want to know!