DO YOU KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS? - GERALD (JERRY) STARR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: WEST SIDE HEALTH CARE DISTRICT
At times when I get really busy I can be surprised…Gosh it’s Friday already? Or, at times, when I’m on vacation I might not even pay attention to whether it’s Monday or Wednesday or Friday until the time comes to leave the beauty of Yosemite or the awesome power of the Grand Canyon. Of course, we track the days that mean a lot to us: the birthdays, the anniversaries, the 4th of July and Christmas! You know what I mean!
But what about those special days, like the National Cheeseburger day, or National Chocolate Chip cookie day? Well, you might feel “who cares?” or “wow! really?” Of course there’s National: Doctors Appreciation Day; Nurses Week, Hospital week, and on and on. All great days! All may be important or fun and celebration days! How do you keep track of all these subjects and days that some interest group feels are important enough to have their own special day, week or month? I thought we might benefit if we look at some of the “health and wellness” days. I went to the Google technology “encyclopedia” for health awareness days. I “found” a calendar, by month, and downloaded four full pages of special health subjects.
September had 16 special health subjects by day, week or the full month. October has 22 special days; alphabetically, from “Adopt a Dog” month to Vegetarian Awareness Month including Halloween! There were 19 more subjects scheduled for a week or for the month in October. In November there are 14 events on the calendar! One of which is the Great American Smoke Out! Certainly the annual calendar of health awareness subjects supports all of our health and wellness interests: Physical, Mental and Social.
How do we reach out and let our community, our families and our patients know about and reflect on the health-related issues that maybe are; could be; or, should be, important to them? Every subject may be important to an individual by gender, age, employment, illness, family life, social life and a number of other personal, family or group interest and activities. For the West Side Health Care District and West Side Family Health Care facility and staff our focus should be on primary care, walk-in services and a focus on family-related issues.
Let’s look at some of the calendared items for October and November. We will use some of those special-awareness subjects as an opportunity to inform our community of patients and families about health issues or concerns that are “important enough” to be part of a national calendar of events! How about:
Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Fire Prevention Week (October 6-October 12th)!
Children’s Health Awareness Month!
Healthy Lung Awareness Month!
American and Juvenile Diabetes Month!
The Great American Smokeout!