Host an NPHW Event

Planning to host an NPHW event in your community? Find all the tips and information you need — right here!

We have suggestions for events of all sizes. Pick the style that feels right for you.

Be sure to check out the examples below to help you pick the right NPHW approach for your community!


Bring NPHW to life in your community by organizing special events April 2-8, 2018 that raise awareness of the value of public health and prevention and their roles in creating a healthier nation.

Publicize your NPHW events by completing a calendar event form, and check out what else is going on in your community and throughout the nation. 

View this year's NPHW events calendar.



Your NPHW event can be as simple as hosting a healthy dinner with your family and friends, or a healthy happy hour with co-workers. The important thing is that you’re coming together to think about ways to improve the health of your family, your workplace, your school and your community, and joining a larger movement to create the Healthiest Nation in One Generation!


  • Talk to your family over a healthy breakfast about what each of you can do to lead healthier lives.
  • Invite your neighbors over for a healthy dinner and tell them about your work in the public health community.
  • Ask your colleagues to join you for a Healthy Happy Hour and brainstorm healthier best practices for your workplace, such as taking more walking meetings, using the stairs instead of elevators, drinking more water throughout the day and standing up to stretch and walk around between sessions on your computer.

Other event ideas:

Host a workout class: Partner with a local gym or community center to host a workout class to get people moving and to learn about NPHW. This can be done at local non-profit facilities such as the YMCA, local for-profit gyms or in a rented recreation center or park space.

Tips for success:

  • Choose a fun workout class that gets people moving! Zumba, indoor cycling and kickboxing are exciting, group-based workouts that can help bring your community together.
  • SWAG! Distribute water bottles, sweat bands or T-shirts to participants with your company’s logo. Don’t forget NPHW brochures and materials!

Invite school speakers: It’s important to engage all members of the community in NPHW, especially students! Host a school assembly and invite local champions of public health to discuss local public health issues, ways to get involved and insights about new advancements.

Tips for success:

  • Invite experts! Whether they are local doctors, community leaders, members of Congress or storytellers of firsthand accounts of public health initiatives, it is important to exhibit all of the ways public health touches the community.
  • Engage the audience! Distribute prizes such as water bottles, stickers or key chains to participants that answer trivia questions. This can also include poster contests and art displays for students’ work incorporating NPHW and promoting community health.
  • Utilize the media! When inviting leaders such as local, state or federal elected officials, work with press secretaries, local newspapers and social media to spread the word before and after the event.

Gather around a communal table: Whether with family, friends or co-workers, gathering around a table for a meal is a great way to share ideas about healthy lifestyles and promote NPHW.  

Tips for success:

  • Host a potluck meal where everyone brings a dish to promote the sharing of ideas and stories of healthy lifestyles.
  • Partner with a local farmer or restaurant to host a dinner consisting of locally sourced foods.
  • Invite health professionals ranging from doctors, to local leaders, policymakers, and other members of the community to share best practices and exchange ideas of creating healthy habits in homes and workplaces.


Your local farmers market is a great setting to talk to people about public health. Your city should have information available online for how to set up a table at one of your local markets. Be sure to look now, well ahead of time, and find out whether there are any fees or other constraints you’ll need to be prepared for! For example, farmers markets typically have both "free" and "fee" areas – but it’s different in every community! You should also be able to access guidelines for what equipment to bring or avoid, how and when to set up, and other details. Be sure to provide yourselves with seating and ample shade.

Making the most of it:

  • Create an eye-catching table: Feature posters and banners that show off NPHW visuals and your organization's logo.
  • Draw people in with freebies. Think about offering healthy snacks, water or health-related items — such as stress balls or toothbrushes — to encourage people to stop by your table and chat.

A great way to draw attention to NPHW 2017 in your community is hosting an event with your member of Congress at home in their congressional district or state. Contact your member of Congress' office to coordinate an event or appearance. Be specific about where, when and how the event will be organized. Make the case for why attending an NPHW event is the perfect opportunity to engage with constituents on an issue everyone cares about — our health.


  • Ask a member of Congress to sign the Healthiest Nation pledge – along with other public health, health care and community partners – in support of building the Healthiest Nation in One Generation.
  • Hold your event at a location that makes a "healthy" impression, such as a new farmers market or park, or a corner store that recently began selling fresh produce.
  • Hold a local town hall meeting to educate community members about the everyday role of public health in our lives. Invite other community leaders to discuss the state of your community’s health, how public health makes it better and the health risks that come with dwindling public health resources. Contact your legislator's press secretary or scheduler and arrange for his or her participation. If the representative can't make it in person, ask if he or she can send prepared remarks via video.

Making the most of it:

  • Highlight local success stories, using specific data and outcomes. For example, share positive outcomes unfolding thanks to federal programs such as the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
  • Feature real people from your community, to put a human face on the value of public health for your member of Congress and leave a memorable impression. For example, share a story about a little girl who experiences fewer asthma complications and missed school days because a public health outreach program helped her family rid their home of asthma triggers.
  • Invite subject experts, such as public health officials, community advocates or academic researchers, to share insights and perspectives on how public health initiatives have made all of our lives healthier, safer and better.
  • Garner media attention by working with your member of Congress’ press secretary or relevant staff to send a media advisory, draft a news release, create talking points and formulate an outreach strategy around the event using social media!


Host an awards presentation to honor those who are improving public health in your community! Our communities are full of public health heroes — from teachers and doctors to local policymakers and parents — who are making it easier for people to get healthy and stay healthy every day. A great way to draw attention to NPHW 2017 and your own agency or organization is to present an award to a public health hero in your community.


  • Consider one or more individuals or organizations you believe deserve recognition in your community for their service on behalf of public health and how your organization can make note of that through an award.
  • Create a meaningful award such as a certificate or trophy.
  • Organize an event to award recipients: a short news conference, a dinner, a luncheon, etc.
  • Coordinate with recipients ahead of time to ensure their enthusiastic participation and attendance.
  • Roll out the announcement of the award(s) through your online properties and other communications.

Making the most of it:

  • Invite partners to join you in selecting and awarding recipients in order to maximize event attendance and increase interest in the awards process.
  • Prepare recipients with social media materials so they can announce the award to their own networks.
  • Consider conducting media outreach around the event, help willing recipients prepare for talking to reporters.


An online event is a real-time public conversation that can take place on a social media channel and is focused on a specific topic. It provides your audience an opportunity to share information, opinions, statistics and best practices while promoting your overall mission.

If you have a strong following on one or more social media platforms, an online event — like a Google Hangout or a Twitter Chat — during NPHW 2017 could be a great opportunity for engaging current supports and attracting new ones. 

We encourage you to participate in APHA's national the NPHW Twitter Chat!


  • Participate in the NPHW Twitter Chat at @NPHW on Wednesday, April 5, at 2 p.m. ET. RSVP online!
  • Promote a call to action across your social media networks asking supporters to help you spread the word about creating the Healthiest Nation and support the Healthiest Nation pledge.
  • Initiate a conversation on Reddit about one element of public health and what it means in your community or nationally. Check out this years NPHW Facts section of the toolkit for ideas.

Making the most of it:

  • Promote your event on Facebook with a low-cost Boosted Post of $25-$50, being sure to target the people you're most interested in encouraging to participate, such as students, public health professionals, parents, etc.
  • Use an existing hashtag already being used by other people who care about public health — such as #healthiestnation or #NPHW. You'll tap into a conversation that's already going on, and people will be much more likely to see your promotion!
  • Tag staff, board members, volunteers and other people related to your organization in posts about your event, and ask them to spread the word with their own friends and fans.
  • Tag partners, decision-makers, local experts and local media in posts about your event so they can participate, listen in or report on your event.
  • Engage in a two-way conversation during the event, being sure to engage with what participants ask or do related to your event. For instance, like their Facebook posts, like and retweet their tweets, and respond to comments and questions.
  • Post-event, make the most of the content and energy you've gathered by: pulling out quotes from the event and using them in future social media posts; doing a write-up of the event and sharing it online; and following up on any questions or comments you didn't have time to address during the event.

Six to eight weeks before your event:

  • Secure your event location.
  • Determine technology needs for your event (cameras, microphones, etc.) — even if you’re doing an online event!
  • Reach out to health experts or local policymakers to participate in the event.
  • Reach out to potential sponsors for donations.

Four weeks before your event:

  • Post your event to the official NPHW calendar at
  • Begin promoting your events. Use communication tools already at your fingertips, such as publications, email lists, bulletin boards, social media accounts and announcements. Highlight NPHW during staff meetings and presentations.
  • Begin promoting your event on Facebook, Twitter and other online venues.
  • Decide what media, if any, you would like to invite to your event, and begin reaching out!
  • Reach out to backup speakers and secure an alternate event venue.
  • Follow up to confirm the attendance of your speakers, public health partners and local stakeholders.
  • Send event invitations to the general public.
  • Continue promoting events using social media and other tools.

Two weeks before:

  • Finalize event logistics.
  • Continue promoting the event using social media and other tools.

One week before:

  • Send out a media advisory.
  • Follow up with local media.
  • Ready speakers for media inquiries.
  • Purchase or collect donated food or beverages.
  • Appoint a photographer for the event (could be an in-house staffer!).
  • Appoint someone to live tweet during the event.
  • Confirm VIP attendees.
  • Provide social media posts/tweets to VIP attendees and speakers and ask them to post to their own networks to help promote the event.
  • Continue promoting events using social media and other tools.

Week of:

  • Distribute news release.
  • Confirm all speakers and distribute run of show schedules.
  • Test technology and equipment for event.
  • Hold your event, and good luck!

Week after:

  • Send a thank-you note to all participants.
  • Follow up with any media or policymakers who attended the event.
  • Follow up on any questions or suggestions people made during the event — particularly for online events if you didn’t have time to take all questions.
  • Use pictures, quotes and other content from the event in future social media or other communications efforts!

Use these tips and tricks to plan an easy NPHW event and get your organization and the general public excited to celebrate National Public Health Week.

One of the best and most important ways to engage people in conversations about NPHW is to discuss topics they already care about. Your organization’s work in public health contributes to the overall NPHW mission and is important to advocating for healthier communities. To make the most of your audience:

  • Screen a movie – Pick a movie that addresses your organization’s mission/work and host a discussion that provides information about how those topics fit into NPHW, the field of public health and creating healthier communities.
  • Host a speaker series – Select public health movers and shakers and invite them to have a Q&A about the research, work or advocacy they do and how it fits into the larger NPHW message.
  • Plan a trivia night – Host a night of fun and games to elevate messages of public health and NPHW. Ask questions that inform and create dialogue around pathways to creating healthier communities and people.
  • Start an NPHW book club – Read books/news articles that discuss evidence-based public health research, planning and implementation. For book ideas, visit APHA Press.
  • Decorate your office space – Create promotional items around the NPHW theme and post them around your workspace. This allows visitors and clients to know that you support NPHW and Healthiest Nation 2030.
  • Create a one-pager – Provide your audience with interesting public health facts and information related to your organization’s work. Relate how it ties into NPHW and Generation Public Health.

Spread the word!

Healthiest Nation 2030

Download the NPHW handout (PDF).

American Public Health Association