The UNC Charlotte Department of Public Health Sciences this April hosted a series of interactive events in celebration of National Public Health Week. Aligning with national activities led by the American Public Health Association, faculty, students, public health leaders and the greater Charlotte community came together for discussions on the health of the region and beyond.
The week was highlighted by a pair of talks by Dr. Joseph Telfair, President of the American Public Health Association. In an evening event that drew more than 150 to UNC Charlotte Center City, Telfair focused on the collaborative strength of public health.
“Critical to assuring effective, actionable efforts to achieve reduction in health inequities, and thus reduction in factors that negatively affect social determinants of quality of life…health entities must function as members of larger, diverse coalition of entities from other sectors,” he said.
In a separate discussion with public health students earlier in the day, Telfair encouraged the future practitioners to improve the lives of those whom they encounter over their career, pointing to APHA as a powerful voice for change in addressing health inequities.
“Recognize the world is complex, many are challenged by these complexities, so find your niche, be willing to make mistakes, learn from and use them to address the complexities which will allow you to become more focused and grow and as a professional – learning is a lifelong process,” he said.
UNC Charlotte also celebrated National Public Health Week with the following events:
- The Legacy of Public Health in Our Region – an art exhibit in Atkins Library exploring local public health practice and organization from 1900-1970
- Public Health “This is Art” – displayed pieces UNC Charlotte art and architecture students that portray public health themes. “This event is about presenting public health through different ways of hearing and seeing public health themes,” said Alex Acorn, president of the UNC Charlotte Graduate Public Health Association. “Instead of hearing it in the classroom, you are able to learn and see it in a different way, through art pieces.”
- Academy for Population Health Innovation 2nd Annual Nexus – showcase of APHI projects and learn more about the partnership between the College of Health and Human Services and the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
- Community Health: Charlotte’s Experiences and Beyond – a panel presentation featuring leaders from Novant Health, Atrium Health and Premier, Inc.
“Events like these offer our faculty, staff and students a valuable opportunity to step out of our classrooms and research projects to exchange ideas with regional and national leaders,” said Dr. Melinda Forthofer, chair of the UNC Charlotte Department of Public Health Sciences. “For our community partners, these events represent linkages to the work we do and our national public health networks.”
by: Wills Citty