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Health Department

Key Public Health Messages/Calls to Action

STD/HIV Control

  • Know your status, get tested!
  • Alcohol and drugs prevent people from making wise sexual decisions.
  • Don't rely on what people tell you about themselves, take the responsibility for your own sexual safety.

TB Control

  • Tuberculosis continues to be a public health threat in Nashville.
  • People at risk for tuberculosis infection/disease should receive screening for tuberculosis.
  • Persons with tuberculosis infection/disease can be cured with adequate treatment.


  • Protect your children from serious illness by making sure they are up to date on all immunizations.
  • Get a flu shot every October or November to protect yourself those you care for.
  • Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease that can be prevented with a vaccine.

Family Planning

  • The Family Planning Program allows women the opportunity to time and space their pregnancies.
  • Pregnancy testing is offered every day on a walk-in basis.
  • If you think you might be pregnant, get tested as soon as possible for your health and possibly for the health of your unborn baby.

WIC Program

  • The Women, Infants, and Children nutrition education and food supplemental program teaches parents to make healthier food choices for themselves and their children.
  • Low-income mothers of children less than five and pregnant women are eligible for WIC services.
  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Family Youth and Infants

  • Your baby's health depends on you. Make sure you are healthy before you get pregnant, that your pregnancy is planned, and that you start prenatal care early.
  • Immunizations save lives. Make sure all your children are up to date with all recommended vaccinations.
  • For health's sake, make sure your child is physically active, sees the doctor for a health check up yearly, and the dentist twice a year.

Behavioral Health

  • Make sure you have accurate information about tobacco, alcohol and other drug use in order to make healthy, responsible life choices.
  • You can have good mental health through reducing stress, seeking help immediately when you experience problems, and talking about problems when they occur.
  • Seeking help for substance abuse or mental health problems when they occur starts you on the road to a healthier, happier life.

Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening

  • Every woman over age 40 should have a mammogram annually or as directed by her physician.

  • Every woman over age 40 should have a Pap test annually or as directed by her physician.

Bridges to Care

Uninsured residents of Davidson County can obtain access to medical care at a cost they can afford through the Bridges to Care program. Help with prescriptions and transportation is also provided.

Health Care for the Homeless

The Downtown Clinic wants to be the "medical home" for the homeless of Nashville. The clinic provides primary medical care, dental services, mental health, and substance abuse treatment for the homeless.

Health Education and Promotion

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

  • It is important to be screened to prevent and manage the risks.
  • Many people are not aware of the fact that there is an actual link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke compared to those without diabetes.

Physical Activity and Obesity

  • Active People = Healthy People
  • Walk with a Purpose -- Exercise by walking 2,000 steps every day.
  • Did you know that there is a new epidemic on the rise? It’s obesity.


  • Tobacco Use Kills!
  • Tobacco is the only consumer product that, when used as directed, kills the user.
  • Having a smoking and non-smoking section is like having a urinating and a non-urinating section in a swimming pool.

Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention

  • Adolescent pregnancy, a cause for concern!
  • Despite recent declines, about 35% of girls in the US get pregnant at least once by age 20.
  • Pregnancy is worth the wait.

Rape Prevention

  • Date rape is a crime which means you can do time.
  • Colleges are required to report sexual assaults.

Pollution Control

  • Do your part in improving Nashville’s air quality by using all energy sources wisely, keeping your car tune-up and tires properly inflated, and minimizing the number of miles you drive by trip-chaining, carpooling or taking mass transit whenever possible.
  • Monitor your local weather providers or the MPHD website for the latest air quality index and next day forecast. Sensitive individuals should take proper precautions to reduce exposure on days when the air quality index is forecasted to be in the unhealthy range.
  • Improve your indoor air quality by promptly repairing water leaks that can lead to excessive mold growth, using environmentally friendly products, such as paints, pesticides, and cleaning products, properly maintaining gas burning appliances and storing volatile materials, such as gasoline and paint solvents in air tight containers.

Vehicle Inspection

  • The Vehicle Emission Testing Program is used to curb increases in air pollutants, such as ground level ozone, fine particles and air toxics. The ground level ozone (smog) is linked to long damage. Fine particles are linked to premature death from heart and lung disease. The EPA estimates that 40 – 70% of air toxics in major cities come from motor vehicles and this is thought to increase the risk of cancer.
  • The onboard diagnostic (OBD) used on 1996 and newer vehicles offers significant air quality benefits, short inspection time for the consumer and an accurate diagnosis of needed repairs. OBD is designed to monitor vehicle operations and detect problems as soon as they occur.
  • EPA reports that a poorly maintained vehicle can release as much as one hundred times the pollution as a well-maintained vehicle.

Animal Control

  • Protect against the threat of rabies by having your dog’s and/or cat’s rabies vaccinations up to date.
  • Obey the leash law.
  • Do your part in reducing the overpopulation of strays by having your pet spayed or neutered.

Environmental Engineering

  • Always properly complete maintenance of sewage disposal systems in a timely manner by pumping septic tanks every 3-5 years, installing and periodically cleaning septic tank outlet filters, periodically switching absorption fields when more than one field is in place, etc.
  • Any construction - big or little - on or near the sewage disposal field may adversely affect the longevity and integrity of a properly installed and maintained septic system. Therefore, never construct any structure (home addition, shed, barn, gazebo, deck, patio, garage, pool, fence, driveway, etc.) without first contacting the Metro Public Health Department to locate the system and determine that proposed construction will not adversely affect the system.
  • In order to ensure the protection of your family’s health, never install any drain that bypasses the septic tank and report any evidence of a system failure to the Metro Public Health Department as soon as possible.

General Sanitation

  • Use Public Works/Sanitation “convenient” disposal centers to dispose of unwanted large appliance, junk, etc.
  • Properly store garbage, trash, and clutter that provides food and shelter for rats.
  • Cutting grass and overgrown vegetation regularly to control pests and other vermin.

Public Facilities

  • Will make as many as 1,000 swimming pool inspections per month during the summer months.
  • Inspects 500 child care facilities annually.
  • Assesses civil penalties on all tattoo studio inspection violations.

Food Protection

  • Make sure the food you prepare/consume is safe to eat.
  • Remember to wash your hands with soap and warm water, and sanitize food work surfaces with bleach and water before preparing foods.
  • Always keep potentially hazardous foods such as meat, fish, and poultry below 40 degrees or above 140 degrees.

Pest Management

  • Protect yourself from mosquitoes by avoid going outdoors when mosquitoes are biting; if you must go outside then wear a mosquito repellent that contains DEET; wear long pants and long sleeves; remove mosquito breeding areas.
  • At least once or twice a week, empty water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and trashcans.
  • Keep your gutters flowing.

Other Marketing Calls to Action

  • Be safe -- wear your seatbelt.
  • Make sure your children, grandchildren, and friends with children that are less than 24 months old get their immunizations.
  • Make sure children riding in your car are properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat.