National Health Education Week – October 21-25, 2019

October 21–28

Education is the key to healthy communities. National Health Education Week (NHEW) promotes health education and the role it plays in keeping us strong. It’s observed the third week of every October. The Society for Public Health Education co-sponsors the week along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

National Health Education Week - History


​Department of Health

The Cabinet-level Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) was created under President Eisenhower.


Social Security Act

The ​Social Security Act passed — providing funding for local health departments.


​First university health education program began

The first academic program teaching health education was launched at Columbia University in New York City.​


American Cancer Society​

Ten doctors and five laypeople founded the American Cancer Society in New York. It was initially called the American Society for the Control of Cancer.


​County health departments

​First county health departments established in Guilford County, North Carolina and Yakitna County, Washington.

How to Observe National Health Education Week

  1. Be an advocate

    Public policy has a significant impact on our overall health. Pay a visit to your local, state, or federal officials and let them know that they need to understand how their votes matter when it comes to promoting good health.

  2. Be a social butterfly

    National Health Education Week employs a social media campaign to bring attention to health education. A number of social tools are available for individuals to get involved online to promote the importance of health education. .

  3. Get a checkup

    Haven't had a health checkup in a while? Call your doctor and get that annual checkup to make sure your health is in good shape. Get curious about your health and feel free to ask your doctor about how to maintain a healthier life.

​5 Key Players In Public Health

  1. Blake Mycoskie​

    ​The founder of TOMS shoes does more than just donate shoes. He also funds important health campaigns across the globe.

  2. ​Helen Clarke

    The first female administrator of the UN Development Program is an advocate for women's issues and the elderly.​

  3. ​Margaret Chan

    Director General of the World Health Organization managed the outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong in 2002.​

  4. ​Michelle Obama

    The former First Lady has used her high profile to promote children's health and address the issue of childhood obesity.​

  5. ​Seyi Oyesola

    The anesthesiologist and critical care physician is an advocate for increased access to medical care in rural parts of Africa.

Why National Health Education Week is Important

  1. Education is best

    The more we know about our health the better we can take care of ourselves. National Health Education Week promotes deeper understanding of our health issues — and encourages us to rely on health care educators to stay informed about how to maintain good health.

  2. Educators are important

    National Health Education Week reminds us of the importance of health care educators and the contribution they make to the health of our communities. Health care educators share critical knowledge that can help us live better lives.

  3. Opportunities for action

    National Health Education Week provides opportunities for citizens to get involved in promoting good health. Each day of the week focuses on a different theme, such as gun violence, or the impact of inequality on individual health. The week offers events and other opportunities for involvement.