By Dr. Barbara Ferrer

Here at the Boston Public Health Commission, we work closely with Mayor Menino and other city agencies to protect, preserve, and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly those who are the most vulnerable. One of the ways we work towards these goals is to educate Boston residents about the programs and services we offer, and to provide healthy lifestyle tips, information about infectious diseases, and countless other resources. That’s what we plan to do with the Health Boston Blog.

For example, did you know that we are the nation’s first health department and trace our roots back to 1799, when Paul Revere was named Boston’s first health officer? Today, BPHC also includes Boston EMS, homeless services, and addiction treatment.

Or did you know that we are offering a free two-week supply of nicotine patches to Boston residents to help them quit smoking? Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Medical restrictions may apply, while supplies last.

Or that we run the Mayor’s Health Line, which can help you find a local health care provider or get information on a variety of personal and public health issues…in more than 160 languages?

Or that we produce an annual Health of Boston report that presents a broad picture of health in our city, and that we are a leading voice in the fight against sugary beverages like soda, sweet tea, and sports drinks that can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes?

As you can see, our work touches many aspects of life here in the city, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. We look forward to connecting with you here and on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube, and continuing to serve you in the community.

Dr. Ferrer is the executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission.