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DPHHS offers Health in the 406 messages

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 27, 2016

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391

DPHHS offers ‘Health in the 406’ messages

Did you know that falls cause an average of 3,400 hospital stays a year?

The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is introducing a new series of health messages called Health in the 406 that will focus on various public health topics designed to raise awareness and help Montanans live healthier lives.

There are numerous important public health issues that impact all of us, and the goal is to shed some light on those key areas where Montana is doing well, but also where improvements can be made, said State Medical Officer Dr. Greg Holzman.

“Our state and local health departments, worksites, non-government organizations and private citizens work hard to enhance our quality of life in Montana,” said Holzman. “We want Montanans to know more about what is happening around our state to improve our quality of life. In addition, we’ll also highlight areas of concern so that improvements can be made in order to make Montana the healthiest place to work, learn, play and live.”

Holzman said public health enhances quality of life in Montana by helping to build healthy communities. From ensuring tobacco free public spaces to helping healthcare improve patient care, it touches everyone in Montana – from birth to death.

Traditionally, public health brings to mind vaccinations, motor-vehicle safety, and control of infectious disease. “Public health is a partnership of individuals and organizations and all Montanans have a role,” he said. “We want Montanans to become more aware of issues that impact their daily lives so that they can improve their health and enhance their quality of life for themselves and loved ones.”

For example, did you know that falls cause an average of 3,400 hospital stays and 19,800 emergency department visits in Montana each year costing over $135 million?

“Falls are a huge issue nationwide, and Montana is no different,” said DPHHS Injury Prevention Coordinator Jeremy Brokaw. “Fortunately, there are programs that can help and information available that can make a difference in people’s lives.”

Exercise focusing on leg strength and balance can prevent falls. And, there are free or low-cost exercise programs in Montana for adults with arthritis.

Anyone interested in receiving the Health in the 406 messages can go to www.healthinthe406.mt.gov.

There will be a wide range of topics such as chronic pain, mental health and tobacco use, birth defects, colorectal screening, and more. Comments or suggestions can be emailed to healthinthe406@mt.gov