Legacy Staff Demonstrate the Meaning of Public Health

National Public Health Week is observed April 5–11, 2021.

By Barrett White


With the COVID-19 pandemic not yet behind us, we are living through the most challenging public health crisis of our lifetimes. Now more than ever, it is important to celebrate public health – and the public health workers who dedicate their time and expertise to it. National Public Health Week (NPHW) is also a time to shine a light on the issues important to the health of our communities.

“To say that the past year has been unprecedented for public health – both at Legacy and around the world – is an understatement, and our work’s not yet done,” says Jen Hadayia, Senior Director of Public Health at Legacy. “The public health issues that faced our patients, families, and communities before COVID-19 have remained and been exacerbated by the historical inequities brought to light by COVID-19. Public Health will continue to ‘meet the moment’ of this global pandemic through the application of science and best practice to empower all people to live their healthiest lives.”

One of our most effective tools for ending the pandemic is social distancing. Perhaps a more appropriate term would be physical distancing. Though we can’t be face-to-face with our groups of friends, colleagues, and neighbors, we certainly can – and do – still connect socially over apps like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime. This is why this year’s National Public Health Week theme, Building Bridges to Better Health, feels so appropriate in the (however temporary) era of social physical distancing.

Legacy’s Public Health team works to ensure that everyone who walks through our doors or lives in the communities we serve has a chance at a healthy and fulfilling life. Connecting PrEP and ART to those who need it, educating communities on how to have a healthy pregnancy or how to cook a healthy meal, and offering connection to care to families who otherwise would not be able to afford it are just a few of the many ways that the Public Health team reaches out to extend Legacy’s “big hug” to Southeast Texas.

By continuing to focus on inclusion and equity across all issues that affect health – inside and outside the clinic setting – we can continue to drive healthy change in our communities. In honor of National Public Health Week, view the photos below to see directly from Legacy’s Public Health team, What Public Health Means to Us: