Each week I will highlight a report from one of the Sewell attendees for this last APHA meeting. This week I am highlighting Jeanne Burke, Education & Liaison Coordinator, Creighton Health Sciences Library and Learning Resources Center, Omaha, NE.
I was introduced to a number of individuals from organizations working with state, national, and local boards of health. Dr. Wilken (my mentor) also introduced me to APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, the current acting and the previous Surgeons General. Her commentary and background information on various organizations and their activities were extremely enlightening and helped put their activities into perspective for me. She invited me to attend the reception held by the other schools in my region that have doctoral and master’s public health degree programs. While at the reception I met the new Dean of the School of Public Health, a number of other faulty, and recent graduates of the School. We talked about their experience treating two Ebola patients and maybe working on some cooperative project ideas. While there I also met a representative from yet another MPH program in our region.
I think one of the best sessions was the General Session with five former Surgeons General. Going over the issues, their successes, and challenges of their time helped me to see how far we have come, and the potential for positive impact public health can have on the inequalities and injustices in our country today. (Sometimes we need look to history to plan action for the future.)
I am very interested in what tools people and organizations are using in their work so we can try to offer the best ones, or at least learn enough about them to share their use with our faculty, students, and staff. One of the potential ideas under development by a social worker from LA is to support the sharing of information among emergency systems such as police, social workers, fire rescue, and ER treatment professionals, with smart phone applications. Each of those dealing with crisis situations has their own information systems which delay and make it difficult to share information in a timely manner, often resulting in even more unnecessary injury to at risk individuals. I was also really impressed with the creative ways people are incorporating quantitative and qualitative methods and tools into community assessment projects. I thought giving residents cameras to document conditions in their community was a creative and effective way to add visual evidence and a voice to those in the community.
I would like to develop some joint public health projects, speakers or other special events with institutions in our region. I look forward to seeing and using the health studies handbook. I think it will be useful tool for a wide range of individuals and situations. I have already talked to my director about creating a lab with a range of tools such as computer hardware, software, cameras, and such for use in community assessment and grant application projects.
I loved the dinner and I think the chance to meet at the end of the day is very helpful