The first week in April is National Public Health week (NPHW) and is dedicated to the people, services, and systems that work tirelessly to promote health in every community across the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “strengthening the public health infrastructure in our nation means helping protect people from preventable illness, death, and health threats.”

Center for Population Health (CPH) has implemented a variety of initiatives to strengthen public health and educate Cambria County and Somerset County residents on preventing illnesses.

Some of CPH’s initiatives include:

  • Community Care HUB – Developed by the Pathways Community HUB Institute, the HUB model aims to impact health outcomes by addressing risk factors associated with poor health outcomes. A HUB is an organized, outcome focused, network of Care Coordination Agencies (CCAs) who hire and train community health workers (CHWs) and connect at-risk individuals to needed services.
  • Educational sessions – CPH formed partnerships with the Johnstown Housing Authority and Cambria County Senior Centers to schedule topic-specific experts on matters including transportation, fall prevention, local drug trends, tobacco cessation, food insecurity/SNAP benefits, resources, jobs, and more. The plan is to move these sessions into Somerset County as well, with many connections already made.
  • Food insecurity – hired a Local Food Systems Coordinator to work with local farmers, producers, distributors, food security agents, and consumers to get healthy and local foods into the hands of children and families in need.
  • Housing – member of Johnstown’s “Quality Affordable Housing Task Force,” which has a goal of addressing the challenges of affordable housing in the context of persistent and concentrated poverty, blight, public safety and crime concerns, and the need for more market rate and workforce housing residents in the downtown and key neighborhoods.
  • COVID-19 Task Force – CPH formed the Cambria-Somerset Covid Task Force to coordinate vaccination events and education across two counties.

This year’s NPHW theme is “Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We Are All Public Health.” It’s a reminder that public health is not just health care, but ensuring that we are taking steps to make sure every neighborhood and environment is free from pollution, food is safe to eat and water is safe to drink. National Public Health Week is also a reminder that if we work together all communities can achieve the goals of public health.

For more information on NPHW, visit