A Special Message on National Public Health Thank You Day

Public health touches all of our lives each and every day—in both seen and unseen ways. Through the COVID-19 response, we’ve seen the critical role public health plays in preventing and responding to epidemics and the spread of disease.

However, many people may not know that public health professionals at the local, state and national levels are also working tirelessly to ensure high-quality health care services, promote healthy lifestyles for individuals, children and families, protect and improve our natural and built environments and provide safe spaces to play and exercise.

The public health professionals who work in these roles often say they do so to help others, give back to their communities and because they feel a sense of duty to their community and country. Their work has been underfunded and overlooked for decades, and the pandemic has drastically stretched an already thin workforce.

The pandemic has challenged our public health workforce in ways unseen in prior health crises.

Based on my career in the private, public and nonprofit sector, We owe a debt of gratitude to our public health heroes who have stood—and who continue to stand—on the frontlines of the pandemic. And, as a doctor and as a public health professional, I believe we should honor our public health workforce every day; but right now, we have a unique opportunity to stand together to show our appreciation.

Today is Public Health Thank You Day, a national day of recognition where public health organizations and advocates come together to express gratitude to the entire public health workforce for their continued dedication to keeping communities across the country healthy, safe and secure.

Join me in thanking our public health workforce by leaving words of gratitude on our Public Health Heroes website.

As we look ahead, I am incredibly excited by today’s public health workforce and the opportunities we have to rebuild and reinvest in their capacity. Whether you’re working on the COVID-19 response directly or indirectly or taking on other health challenges around the globe, you are making a difference. Thank you for your dedication, your service and your commitment to saving and improving lives.

Dr. Judy Monroe
Judy Monroe, MD, is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.