SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – The City of Springfield started its 25th annual celebration of Public Health Month with an event at city hall Monday morning.

Each April, the city holds Public Health month to raise awareness about the role and importance of public health locally. Public health advocates say social identity like race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and ability contribute to a person’s physical and mental well-being.

The pandemic has naturally been the main focus of most public health work for the past two years but now that COVID cases are finally dropping, officials are able to turn their attention to other public health concerns like substance use disorders, the HIV/AIDs epidemic, infant mortality, and unintended teen pregnancy.

“Public health work is so broad it encompasses most of our lives so we are pleased to celebrate our colleagues during this month, particularly those who work in hospital settings as well,” said Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris of the Springfield Health and Human Services.

Caulton-Harris says the majority of public health work is centered around the concepts of “prevention, intervention, and treatment.”