National Public Health Week Celebrated Nationwide: Health Departments, Schools, Communities Hold Events

By Currie, Donya | The Nation's Health, June-July 2009 | Go to article overview

National Public Health Week Celebrated Nationwide: Health Departments, Schools, Communities Hold Events


Currie, Donya, The Nation's Health


Health advocates nationwide submitted details of their events to The Nation's Health in April, an alphabetical summary of which follows.

DEMONSTRATING creativity, enthusiasm and dedication, public health advocates across the country showcased ways to build the foundation for a healthy America during the 2009 celebration of National Public Health Week April 6-12.

The University of Alabama, Birmingham, School of Public Health reached out to the homeless, partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build a home, teamed up on a blood drive, hosted a lecture on the future of public health and sponsored other community-building activities across the BIRMINGHAM, ALA., area during National Public Health Week.

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Students and faculty volunteered on April 4 at Birmingham's Project Homeless Connect 2009, a one-day event sponsored by community leaders that was designed to provide housing, services and hospitality to the local homeless population in a convenient, one-stop format. Some services provided that day included meals, medical and dental care, vision care and tax preparation. The university's Public Health Student Association also held a hygiene drive, collecting more than 2,700 containers of shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste and other items to be distributed during the event.

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The Public Health Student Association also partnered with Habitat for Humanity on April 6 to help build a home and teamed up with the American Red Cross to hold a campus blood drive. And on April 7, Birmingham News columnist Jon Archibald was escorted via carriage as part of a ceremony for the school's Lou Wooster Public Health Hero Award, which is named for a Birmingham woman who risked her life and stayed in the city to care for residents during an 1873 cholera epidemic. When she died in 1913, hundreds of empty carriages drove by the funeral home as a sign of respect.

On April 9, in conjunction with the dean's office, the Public Health Student Association also helped organize what it hopes will be an annual Public Health Research Day. The event allowed students and faculty to display their work, and prizes were awarded to the best poster displays. A luncheon featured a talk on activism research.

The week ended with the "Amazing Public Health Race," which had teams race around to different public health establishments to complete tasks, earn points and learn exactly what public health is. Stops on the race circuit included the local YMCA, the Jefferson County Health Department and two local nutrition programs. Teams also earned points by taking pictures of public health-related scenes in the community.

At the University of CALIFORNIA, IRVINE, the Public Health Association celebrated National Public Health Week by informing students about the field of public health, encouraging a healthier campus and raising money for cancer research.

All week, students set up a booth in the heart of campus to offer an array of information about the many opportunities in public health. The booth also allowed fellow university students a chance to pledge what they would do to build a healthier America.

On Monday, the Public Health Association hosted a "public health mixer" where public health faculty offered insight into the growing field of public health and interacted with students. On Wednesday, the association hosted six panelists representing various master's in public health programs from the University of California, Irvine; the University of California, Los Angeles; Loma Linda University; and California State University, Fullerton.

One of the week's highlights was a Concert for Charity, featuring local bands, which raised money for the American Cancer Society. The week's events ended with a showing of the movie "Flow" on Friday and a hike at the local state park on Saturday.

At Loma Linda University in LOMA LINDA, CALIF.

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National Public Health Week Celebrated Nationwide: Health Departments, Schools, Communities Hold Events
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