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VCU students partner with Richmond City Health District to promote public health week, April 3–9

'This is Public Health' community outreach aims to educate about public health

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In observance of National Public Health Week, the Richmond City Health District and students from the Master of Public Health Program at Virginia Commonwealth Universityare working together to promote public health in the community. The term “public health” refers to a wide range of population health  issues, from disease outbreak prevention to seatbelt safety advocacy. The theme of National Public Health Week for 2017 is “Healthiest Nation 2030.”

“It is particularly important now for state and local governments to address the public health needs of their citizens, including social determinants of health,” said Anton Kuzel, M.D., chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health at VCU School of Medicine. “VCU is committed to continuing partnerships with state and local government to help achieve this goal.”

Through a campaign titled “This is Public Health,” from mid-March through April 9, Richmond City Health District staff, VCU public health students, and the VCU Wellness Resource Center will lead community outreach efforts across Richmond about what public health does. A national initiative, the “This Is Public Health” campaign was developed by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health to convey the message that public health affects everyone on a daily basis.

“A healthy, thriving community should offer its citizens not only good medical care, but also strong education and employment opportunities, quality housing, affordable and healthy food, safe streets, and ample green space,” said Danny Avula, M.D., director of Richmond City Health District. “We are working across sectors in Richmond to build real health equity and ensure that our residents’ lives are built on a solid foundation for good health.” 

Throughout the month of March and during National Public Health Week in April, VCU students and staff and Richmond City Health District staff will present public health information to the community. After the public health information sessions, presenters will ask campaign participants to take a photo with the “This Is Public Health” logo. Photos will be posted on the Richmond City Health District’s social media accounts during National Public Health Week to celebrate all that public health does in Richmond.

At VCU, the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health Student Association are offering public health seminars and teaming with the Richmond City Health District to join the American Public Health Association’s Billion Steps Challenge. Team RVAWalks will take part in the nationwide effort to walk more and achieve a total of a billion steps from all participants across the country. The RVAWalks challenge occurs from March 31 to April 9. Those who join the walk challenge will be eligible for one of three prizes from a random drawing of RVAWalks participants. Registration is free and available at https://stridekick.com/challenges/59614

Other events this week will be held at the One Capitol Square building, 830 E. Main St., in room 644. They include:

April 3, noon — “Health as a Design Problem: Designing Virginia to Become the Healthiest State in the Nation”

Speaker: Virginia Commissioner of Health Marissa Levine, M.D.

April 3, 5 p.m. — VCU Delta Eta Chapter of the Delta Omega National Honor Society presents “Careers in Public Health: A Panel of Public Health Professionals”

Panelists:              

  • Ashley Carter, policy, planning, and communication manager, Division of Disease Prevention, Virginia Department of Health
  • Derek Chapman, Ph.D., associate director, VCU Center on Society and Health; and associate professor, Division of Epidemiology, VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
  • Howard Chilcoat, Ph.D., head of epidemiology at Indivior
  • Christine Flavin, independent consultant, Bottletree Consulting
  • Lauren Gray, program and engagement manager, Virginia Oral Health Coalition           

April 4, noon — “Pediatric Obesity Interventions: What We Have Learned, What Do We Need to Learn, and What Should We Do Moving Forward?”

Speaker: Marilyn Stern, Ph.D., professor, Department of Child and Family Studies, University of South Florida

April 5, noon — "Place, Race, and Chronic Disease: Addressing the Roots of Health Inequities to Support the Healthiest Generation"

Speaker: Brian Smedley, Ph.D., executive director, National Collaborative for Health Equity            

April 6, noon  “Understanding Geographic Disparities in Population Health”

Speaker: Steven Woolf, M.D., director, VCU Center on Society and Health; and professor, VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.