SPHHS Honors National Public Health Week

SPHHS staff members Megan Griffin, Erika MacDonald, and Lori Peterson attend the annual SPHHS Research Day.

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences celebrated a week’s worth of events in honor of “National Public Health Week 2012: A Healthier America Begins Today.” The events highlighted the School’s message of education, research, outreach and practice.

Among the student-centered activities during the week were the undergraduate major in Public Health Sciences’ Poster Internship and Study Abroad Day on April 2, 2012, and the School’s 15th Annual Research Day on April 3, 2012.

The Poster Internship and Study Abroad Day showcased the many internship and study abroad experiences of public health students, and provided peers with an idea of what opportunities are available both locally and globally, what students learn, and the value of practice-based learning. The Western Massachusetts Public Health Training Center also provided information and applications for paid summer internships available throughout the region as part of the School’s $2.5 million Training Center grant awarded by HRSA.

On Research Day, students from all SPHHS departments presented posters of their work. Posters were entered into a faculty-juried session and judged based on research content and presentation. Select individuals received awards for Research and Practice. In addition, Andrea Morand, Kinesiology, was presented with the Delta Omega Honor Society Award. Her winning poster abstract became eligible for further judging by the Delta Omega Society's national committee for possible presentation at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.

In addition to those events, the Public Health Sciences program and the Public Health Club co-sponsored a traveling exhibit titled “The Ex-Smokers’ Hall of Fame” on April 3, 2012, in the Student Lounge in the UMass Amherst Student Union Center. The Ex-Smokers’ Hall of Fame celebrates the stories of former smokers who were successful in quitting. The event showcases their personal journeys to being smoke-free. By sharing their strategies for success, members of the Ex-Smokers’ Hall of Fame hope to provide inspiration and support to smokers trying to quit. Their stories illustrate that there is hope for people who attempt to quit. The Ex-Smokers’ Hall of Fame is a joint effort of the Hampshire Council of Governments’ Tobacco Free Community Partnership and the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program.

Also on April 3, 2012, the campus welcomed Pierre Minn, postdoctoral fellow from UCLA, for a talk titled “Where They Need Me: Haitian Health Professionals and International Medical Aid Before and After the 2010 Earthquake.” The event, sponsored by the Five College Program in Culture, Health, and Science, of which the School is a member, included an informal dinner followed by the lecture.

SPHHS student clubs also sponsored a number of other events throughout the week, including workshops on CPR and First Aid Certification and Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, and a screening of the film “Contagion.”