Public Health Week, April 1-5

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P ublic Health Nursing has been established and active on the Navajo Reservation longer than there have been hospitals or doctors serving the needs of the Navajo.

Public health nurses would travel the dirt roads of the reservation providing for the health care needs of the people, including medical services and medications not available locally. In fact, before some of these services were available, the Navajo had to travel many arduous miles by horse and wagon to receive medical care from border town hospitals.

Of course, nursing has a come a long way and Public Health Nursing has as well. Today most of the Navajo Area hospitals have Public Health Nursing Departments doing very much the same roll they did over a hundred years ago.

From April 1 to 5, the staff and nurses of Ft. Defiance Indian Hospital's Public Health Nursing Department will highlight some of the things we do in providing these services our here on the Navajo Reservation.

During the week, the Division of Community Health Department will highlight specific areas of healthcare services each day.

On Monday, April 1, the focus will be on "Ensuring a Safe, Healthy home for your family."

Tuesday will be "Providing a Safe Environment for Children at School." We will hold a Car Seat Clinic in Sanders, Ariz. at the Puerco Valley Fire Station from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bring your car in and a certified car seat tech will make sure your car seat is correctly installed and your child is safely strapped in.

Wednesday is "Creating a Healthy Workplace." There is a fire safety presentation scheduled at Pine Springs Day School from 9:30 a.m. until noon. I understand there will be a special guest there for the kids.

Thursday will emphasize "Protecting you while you're on the move." A car seat clinic will be on the grounds of Ft. Defiance Indian Hospital from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Although no new seats will be provided for participants, certified techs will be there to confirm your seat is correctly installed (most are not).

And finally, Friday is "Empowering a Healthy Community." In the hospital rotunda, we will hold a Tdap clinic from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., which will allow anyone who is of Native American descent to get a free Tdap vaccine. This vaccine will help prevent the spread of Pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

Each and every day's activities and programs will be held in the area or here at the hospital, sharing information giving demonstrations and just having great fun in order for the community to become more aware of what Public Health Nursing provides.

There will be many other exhibits and demonstrations during the week. Please contact the Public Health Nursing office at Ft. Defiance office for questions or schedules at 928-729-8882.

Hope to see you there!

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