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Health department hosting open house

ALBANY, Ga. -- As part of National Public Health Week, the Dougherty County Health Department is taking the opportunity to showcase itself to the public.

From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 4, the health department -- located at 1710 S. Slappey Blvd. -- will be hosting an open house.

It is taking place during National Public Health Week, which, according to the American Public Health Association, is April 2-8. At the open house, the public will get an opportunity to learn all about what health officials do.

"We wanted to take time to showcase our services and allow the public to see the services we are providing," said Vamella Lovett, manager of the Dougherty County Health Department.

At the event, booths will be set up and staff will be giving guided tours through the building. In the meantime, there will be continuous video throughout the common areas.

"We hope that those that normally don't come to the health department will come (to the open house)," Lovett said.

This year's theme for Public Health Week is "A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement!." In addition to the weekly theme, there are also daily themes, which Lovett said the health department intends to acknowledge.

The themes will be recognized Monday through Friday of that week. The themes, in the order in which they will be recognized, are active living and healthy eating, the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, communicable disease prevention, reproductive and sex health, and mental and emotional well-being.

Lovett said last week that officials were still in the process of planning what will be done to recognize each theme, but that plans at least include public service announcements on a daily basis.

The health department manager also said that, as far back as she can recall, an open house has not been conducted at the health department during National Public Health Week.

That's not to say it has gone unrecognized.

"We have always done something during public health week," Lovett said. "We will do something every year.

"We do a lot in public health to prevent illness and promote healthier lives. So many that don't know what we do need to. We want to do what we can to promote healthy lives, and we want to make sure people know public health is here and that we have a lot to offer in terms of education."

For more information, call (229) 430-6200.