The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration officially recognized Public Health Awareness Month a virtual proclamation signing this morning.
Annually in April, Public Health Awareness Week commends the essential contributions of public health and aims to recognize the significant issues to achieving equitable health and welfare for all.
However, for Guam, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) will be commemorating Public Health and Social Services week for the entire month–especially following the initial and continual impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his opening remarks, the Director of DPHSS, Arthur San Agustin, expanded on the meaning of this year’s public health celebration theme saying, “I’m very honored to be a part of this event. We normally do this a week-long and now we are elevating it to a month-long event for the entire month. Our theme this year is, ‘Public health is where you are.’
“It is a very fitting theme. In the face of the pandemic, where we go, what we do, who we see, and the actions that we take, they affect not just us as individuals, they affect those who surround us. This is why our message remains consistent and hasn’t wavered. Wearing a mask may be inconvenient for some, but it doesn’t just affect the individual wearing it; it also protects those around them.”
San Agustin further referenced getting vaccinated as another way to protect ourselves and others, relating these avenues of safeguarding the health and welfare of Guam’s community to the agency’s mission.
Furthermore, San Agustin commended the different divisions of DPHSS and their remarkable accomplishments in recent years. Some notable milestones include the Division of environmental health, which acted as a critical partner in the pandemic by enforcing covid policies among restaurants and bars, inspected over 1500 establishments, and over 70,000 pieces of covid-19 consumer commodities.
Other noteworthy achievements include the introduction of Prugraman Pinilan by the Divison of Children’s wellness, which expands eligibility for more children to place in daycare.
Acting Governor Josh Tenorio thanked the employees of DPHSS for their dedication and suggested the further expansion of partnerships between DPHSS and non-profit organizations.
He said, “The COVID situation has given us more information and more attention to some of the places on Guam that are not to a point where we would like them to be in terms of prosperity.
“All those high impacted neighborhoods with high covid infections and covid deaths that have long-standing issues with poverty, and access to healthcare, I realize that there is a new focus on trying to identify these folks, get them enrolled in services, and try to get them into services and into medical care as fast as possible.”