The University of South Florida College of Public Health held a weeklong celebration to commemorate National Public Health Week, April 2-8.
Each year National Public Health Week is held during the first full week of April and is organized by the American Public Health Association (APHA), a government-based professional organization for public health professionals that prides itself on influencing federal policy and bringing together members from all fields of public health. The week is observed to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight important health issues.
To kick off the festivities, the Public Health Student Association and USF Health Shared Student Services hosted an inter-professional lunch and learn seminar. The seminar included a panel who discussed “Integrating Cultural Competency and Diversity in Health.” Panelists included Dr. Alicia Best, assistant professor of Community and Family Health from the COPH.
“A lot of times we think of cultural competence as a static thing, but it’s not. We all come from different values and backgrounds. We have to stress that it’s a mindset and we have to be open minded and truly care to understand another person’s values. We also need to focus our attention on systems; if we focus on a system then individuals operating within that system will operate with cultural competence,” said Best.
Other panel members included COPH alumnus Dr. Bryan Bognar, College of Medicine, Dr. Ponrathi Athlilingam, College of Nursing, and Cielo Gomez, founder of Casa Chiapas Tampa, Inc.
On April 2, students took part in the “This is Public Health” social where they enjoyed ice cream and spoke to other student organizations about how to get involved in public health at USF.
The Give Life Day and Wellness Fair took place in the COPH lobby on April 3. COPHers were able to make a difference in someone’s life by donating blood with OneBlood and registering with the National Marrow Donor Program and Donate Life Florida. They also learned ways to take care of their own physical health through getting their BMI and blood pressure examined, learning about the importance of colon cancer screening, ways to alleviate stress, and how to engage in a proper nutritious diet.
At the Annual Public Health Awards Ceremony on April 4, the COPH presented awards for student research, Excellence in Teaching, Florida Outstanding Woman in Public Health and Outstanding Alumni. Delta Omega inductees and academic scholarship recipients were also recognized. For a full list of awardees, including named student scholarships, view the 2018 National Public Health Week Awards Program.
In celebration of World Health Day, the college, Florida Center for Community Design & Research, USF School of Architecture, and the Global Disaster Humanitarian Relief Student Collaborative hosted “Design+Health” on April 5 where public health experts discussed the health disparities and need for improvements in urban planning, transportation, food, agriculture and education in an effort to minimize the burden of disease.
The Annual Chiles Lecture and Symposium on April 6 presented current research of faculty, staff and students impacting the health of women, children and families. Dr. Paula Braveman, director of the Center on Social Disparities in Health at the University of California, San Francisco discussed, “To Achieve Health Equity, We Must Go (Even Farther) Upstream.”
The week rounded off with the 5th Annual COPH Cookout & Potluck at USF Riverfront Park. The COPH’s faculty, staff and students brought their families with them to enjoy an afternoon of conversation and good food with their peers.
For more photos from this year’s National Public Health Week, view Ellen Kent’s montage.
Story by Anna Mayor, USF College of Public Health
Tags: Annual BBQ, Annual Chiles Lecture and Symposium, Candace Webb, Chiles Center, COPH Outstanding Alumni Award, cultural competency, Deanne Miranda Cornette, Design + Health 2018, Emily Walters, Excellence in Teaching Award, Florida Center for Community Design, Florida Outstanding Woman in Public Health, Florida Prevention Research Center, Give Life Day, Global Disaster Management and Humanitarian Relief, health and wellness, Heewon Gray, National Public Health Week, NPHW, nutrition, Public Health Student Association, Sharad Suryakant Malavade, This Is Public Health, USF Riverfront Park, World Health Day, Zachary Pruitt