National Public Health Week is in full swing at USF

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April 6-12 is National Public Health Week.

Don’t know where to celebrate?  Well, look no farther than the USF College of Public Health.

NPHW 2014 logo

National Public Health Week is sponsored by the American Public Health Association. Since 1995, the group declared the first week in April as “a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health.”

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What follows are a series of posts highlighting some of many events the USF College of Public Health is hosting for National Public Health Week. Some of the blogs are written coverage, others video highlights. And be sure to check out the places within the story that provide audio clips from public health experts. Click here for a full list of events.

 

April 3

Donors make Give Life Day a success

Give Life Day was one of COPH’s ongoing events to prelude next week’s National Public Health Week. Students and faculty have been working hard to promote community engagement by offering education about exercise, CPR techniques, and public spaces, to name a few. During Give Life Day, 26 donors joined the OneBlood Bloodmobile and the National Marrow Donor registry. Donate Life Florida added seven new names to their organ and tissue registry.

OneBlood Bloodmobile receieved 26 blood donations on COPH’s Give Life Day at USF’s Tampa Campus. Photo by Ellen Kent.

OneBlood Bloodmobile receieved 26 blood donations on COPH’s Give Life Day at USF’s Tampa Campus. Photo by Ellen Kent.

 

March 28

Keeping Hillsborough River State Park trash free with USF College of Public Health [multimedia]

Dr. Marie Bourgeois, an assistant research professor at USF with her her daughter Maya Bourgeois, Britni Tisinger, Joseph Erbrick, Stephen Burd, Levy Furere, Megan Walker, and Maria Lazalde, volunteered at the Trash Free Water Initiative at Hillsborough River State Park.

Dr. Marie Bourgeois, an assistant research professor at USF with her her daughter Maya Bourgeois, Britni Tisinger, Joseph Erbrick, Stephen Burd, Levy Furere, Megan Walker, and Maria Lazalde, volunteered at the Trash Free Water Initiative at Hillsborough River State Park.

 

In anticipation of National Public Health Week, USF College of Public Health has scheduled an array of activities and events to create awareness. On Saturday, March 28, nearly 200 volunteers arrived at Hillsborough River State Park to clean the park. The event was part of a Trash Free Waters Initiative organized by Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful and sponsored by Zephyrhills Water.

Volunteers were asked to be scientists for the day and collect data on the categories of litter they picked up. The data will be complied with stats from the previous clean-ups and will then be submitted to groups such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the International Coastal Conservancy.

The Hillsborough River is one of the main water sources for Tampa residents.

“It’s very important to recognize that the litter items are not supposed to be there” said Tom Damico, the environmental coordinator for Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.

Most of litter found is left behind from picnics and camping activities. Bottle caps, candy wrappers, and cigarette butts contain harmful chemicals and take up to two years to biodegrade.

“No one seems to think it’s garbage,” said Marie Bourgeois, PhD, an assistant research professor at USF who came with her daughter and offered an extra credit incentive to her students. “We live in this world and we’re going to leave this world to other people.”

 

Using interactive health activities to educate children during the Haitian Health Fair

USF Health Service Corps Health Fair had it’s second year event at the Bethanie Adventist Haitian Church on Saturday, March 28, where more than 45 adults received health screenings.

Dr. Korede Adegoke, a physician from Nigeria earning her doctoral degree in Epidemiology at USF COPH, provided personalized health education.   Photo by Ellen Kent.

Dr. Korede Adegoke, a physician from Nigeria earning her doctoral degree in Epidemiology at USF COPH, provided personalized health education. Photo by Ellen Kent.

Curtis Devetter, who came back from conducting his doctoral research in Costa Rica, lead kids’ activities. Photo by Ellen Kent.

Curtis Devetter, who came back from conducting his doctoral research in Costa Rica, lead kids’ activities. Photo by Ellen Kent.

Here is the link to more photos: Haitian health fair 2015

 

March 27

An early start to National Public Health Week begins with thanking community partners [multimedia]

“Our strategic plan is your strategic plan,” said Dr. Donna Petersen, dean of the USF College of Public Health, as she expressed gratitude toward an audience of almost 150 familiar colleagues during today’s 30th Anniversary Community Partner Celebration.  More than three dozen local, state, national and international organizations attended out of 70 nominated by COPH faculty and staff.  Dr. Petersen has been working on ways to help solve public health problems we face today, in days past and in years to come.  Instead of publishing a report, which has finality, she invited her audience to visit the online forum to keep the conversation going.

Dr. Donna Petersen, dean of the USF College of Public Health addresses an audience of health professional who’ve collaborated with USF COPH as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations to honor community partnerships.

Dr. Donna Petersen, dean of the USF College of Public Health addresses an audience of health professional who’ve collaborated with USF COPH as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations to honor community partnerships.

Dr. Charles Mahan, dean emeritus of USF College of Public Health, recalled earlier times, when students and faculty didn’t go out to communities.

“Things have really changed,” he said, noting one of the first goals attained was offering the master’s of public health to those already working in the field via satellite, an early version of online courses.

Community partnerships ranging in fields of cancer, senior health, behavioral health, diabetes, and many more, have been a main gateway into gaining knowledge about community health, and have been instrumental in helping place students, as well as participate in research projects for field advancement.

From left: Nancy Natilson and Barbara Zdravecky of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida with Dee Jeffers and Charles Mahan, COPH dean emeritus

From left: Nancy Natilson and Barbara Zdravecky of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida with Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center pioneers Dee Jeffers and Charles Mahan.

“Nothing happens in public health without our partners,” said Dee Jeffers, RN, MPH, who has been working in communities for many years. Through public health initiatives, the average lifespan of individuals has increase by 25 years. Among the main factors making this possible are partnerships working in 10 areas: immunizations, work-place safety, motor vehicle safety, control of infectious diseases, heart disease, safer and healthier food, healthier mothers and babies, family planning, fluoridation of drinking water, and tobacco as a health hazard. As this list was read out, members of the audience applauded or raised their hand to acknowledge the work their organization does in the area.

The celebration continued with a projected presentation acknowledging organizations who worked with USF COPH throughout the past three decades. COPH has established their ongoing relationships worldwide, from Florida, Nicaragua to Uganda and also Malaysia. Click here to see a commemoration to those partners. 

Manuel Fermin from Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade joined in the USF College of Public Health partnership celebration. Mr Fermin describes an important initiative to change the standard pregnancy term from 36 weeks to a full 39 weeks when the most significant brain developments occur.

Manuel Fermin from Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade joined in the USF College of Public Health partnership celebration. Mr Fermin describes an important initiative to change the standard pregnancy term from 36 weeks to a full 39 weeks when the most significant brain developments occur.

 

Read the full blog at USF Health News

 

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