Celebrating National Public Health Week: From Mary Hansell, SFDPH MCAH Director

This week is National Public Health Week ( #nphw ).  Spearheaded by the American Public Health Association, the observance is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of public health. This year’s theme is “A Healthier America Begins Today” as #NPHW focuses on a holistic approach to disease prevention and wellness. Since Go Folic! is part of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Section, we decided to ask our MCAH Director, Mary Hansell, DrPH, PHN, RN, to share what she calls her “elevator statement” on public health.  So, without futher ado…


It’s National Public Health Week. This is a wonderful time to tell your friends and acquaintances about your job and spread the word about why public health efforts are important. I am always glad to talk about MCAH when someone asks me about my work. In my “elevator speech”, I say that I work for SFDPH in the section dedicated to Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health. I tell the person that we work with families that have children, in the community, and try to improve health. I say that MCAH is a variety of professionals, including nurses, nutritionists and physical and occupational therapists, working with kids who are healthy and kids with severe disabilities. I say we do home visits, work on the phone and in nutrition clinics. I say that I love my job. Most of the time, the conversation moves on to other topics at that point but it shifts with the person knowing something about Public Health and my ongoing love for this work.

If you work in the field of public health, I’d love to hear your “elevator speech”. I am sure I would learn something from it. Please feel free to post it in a comment here, or on the Go Folic! Facebook page or Twitter feed – @gofolic #elevatorspeech.

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