Theme: Healthy Counties, Healthy Families
National County Government Month (NCGM) conducted each April is an annual celebration of county government. Since 1991, the National Association of Counties has encouraged counties to actively promote the services and programs they offer. This year’s theme is “Healthy Counties, Healthy Families.”
Give Them the Facts
NCGM is also an opportunity to address misinformation about county government. One effective way is to present the facts. As part of NCGM, perhaps your county could prepare and distribute county fact sheets. In the past, some counties have rolled out a “County Fact of the Day” or distributed fact sheets representing key county departments, such as public safety, parks and recreation, transportation and healthcare. Tell them things many residents do not know about county services, but need to know. Send the fact sheets to the media, post on the county website, and distribute via social media.
Since this year’s theme is “Healthy Counties, Healthy Families,” develop fact sheets listing:
® Health services the county provides.
® How many patients were served last year at county hospitals and clinics?
® How many health department inspections were conducted last year?
® How many vaccinations were administered last year?
® How many health care professionals are employed in the county?
® How many emergency room visits were made last year?
Counties may want to promote special health-related programs. For example, during the first week of April, Denton County will spotlight National Public Health Week with the 5th Annual Take the First Step 1 mile/5k Walk or Run.
“This free community activity was designed to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and encourage people to get up and get active,” said Amber Haig, health educator with the Denton County Health Department (DCHD). Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of Denton County residents, and regular physical activity has been proven to lower risk of a variety of conditions including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, Haig said. This year’s fun run/walk is set for April 14th.
For more information on how to celebrate your county government, consult the 2012 National County Government Month Handbook at http://www.naco.org/programs/countiesdo/Pages/ncgm.aspx.