National observance pushes for science, action and health

| Academic & Student Affairs, Featured News, Monday Letter, Students, Take Note!, Undergraduate

The University of South Florida College of Public Health held a weeklong celebration to commemorate National Public Health Week, April 1-7.

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 on April 1, student organizations USF Community Emergency Response Team, Disaster and Humanitarian Relief Student Collaborative, University Emergency Medical Services Association and Health Occupation Students of America hosted Preparedness-on-the-Lawn to teach students about preparedness during emergency situations through response training activities.

Taking place the same day was a lecture titled “From A(nthrax) to Z(ika) and E(verything) in between: CDC Communicators Tell All”. CDC’s Tom Skinner, senior public affairs officer, and Dr. Christine Prue, lead behavioral scientist for the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, shared their experiences in guiding interventions, preparing scientists behind the scenes and media relations.

Tom Skinner, Dr. Claudia Parvanta and Dr. Christine Prue at the USF College of Public Health. (Photo by Ellen Kent)

The Give Life Day and Wellness Fair took place in the COPH lobby on April 2 with 16 wellness stations. 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 alleviate stress, how to engage in a proper nutritious diet, family trees and health from the USF Genetics Program and about the dangers of driving while impaired.

OneBlood had 18 people donate blood. (Photo by Ellen Kent)
The Florida Department for Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles demonstrated the dangers of driving while impaired through a driving simulator. (Photo by Ellen Kent)

At the Annual Public Health Awards Ceremony on April 3, 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 2019 National Public Health Week Awards Program.

Read more about the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award winners Danish Hasan, Dr. Pauline Rolle and Gregory LaManna.

Dean Donna Petersen and SHARP Award winners. (Photo by Ellen Kent)
Outstanding Alumni Award winners Danish Hasan, Dr. Pauline Rolle and Gregory LaManna. (Photo by Ellen Kent)

On April 4, students took part in the “This is Public Health Student Day” where they enjoyed snacks and spoke to other student organizations about how to get involved in public health at USF.

Student organizations within the COPH came together to speak on how others can get involved in public health while serving ice cream. (Photo by Ellen Kent)

The week rounded off with the Annual COPH Cookout 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.

COPH students, faculty and staff celebrated National Public Health Week at the Annual Cookout. (Photo by Ellen Kent)

For more photos from this year’s National Public Health Week, view Ellen Kent’s montage.

National Public Health Week events aren’t just limited to a week! Check out upcoming events here.

Story by Caitlin Keough, USF College of Public Health