Public Health Education and Health Promotion
Section Newsletter
Spring/Summer 2007

Make the Most of Your APHA Membership - Get Involved in Your Section

The Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section is the largest section in APHA with more than 3,800 members (that is 14.57 percent of the total APHA members).  Of those, more than 90 members just joined the Section between January and March 2007.  Thank you for becoming members, and welcome to the PHEHP Section!

 

With a section this size, there are plenty of opportunities to advance health promotion/health education within our section and throughout the association. The PHEHP has several committees including Program Planning, Advocacy, Awards, Continuing Education, Health Communication Working Group and Worksite Health Promotion Working Group. Becoming a member of a committee also provides networking opportunities with other members who share your interests.

 

The Membership Committee especially invites students to join and be active in the Section. If you know students focusing on health education, promotion or health communications who would like to join the Section, please contact the membership committee co-chairs.

 

Committee involvement requires only a few hours per week. Please e-mail the Membership Committee co-chairs to explore volunteer opportunities.

Health Education and Health Promotion Professionals Make a Difference

For this edition of the newsletter we had the honor of interviewing a leader in the area of Health Education and Health Promotion, Elaine Auld.  Elaine is a professional who could inspire many students and new professionals.  Her experience shows the many opportunities that are available in health education and health promotion. 

Auld earned her bachelor's degree in community health education from Kent State University, a master of public health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and became a Certified Health Education Specialist in 1988.  She is currently the Executive Director for the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE).  Before assuming this position she was director of public health for the International Food Information Council, manager of technical projects for the International Life Sciences Institute-Nutrition Foundation, health education specialist for Capital Systems Group, Inc., and coordinator of patient and community health education at Parma Hospital. Her current and recent appointments and awards include:

The University of Michigan School of Public Health Alumni Board of Governors (2004-present).

The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Adjunct Faculty (2005 – present).

American Public Health Association (APHA) Action Board and liaison to the Joint Policy Committee (2003-present; chair, 2005).

APHA Executive Board (2005).

APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section (Advocacy Chair 2002-present.

Awards Committee 1997-2002; prior offices such as Secretary, Governing Councilor, Section Councilor, Section Whip, newsletter editor, etc. 1980-1997).

International Union for Health Promotion and Education, North American Regional Office, Trustee (2002-present).

Founder, Health Education Advocacy Summit, sponsored by Coalition of National Health Education Organizations (1998-present).

Site team reviewer, Council on Education for Public Health (1995-present).  

Eta Sigma Gamma Distinguished Service Award (2003).

AAHE/HEDIR Health Education Technology Award (2003).

APHA PHEHP Judith R. Miller Award (1997).

SOPHE Trophy (1996).

Kent State University Distinguished Health Education Alumnus Award (1991).

Q&A with Elaine

There are many areas under public health. Why did you choose health education/health promotion (HE/HP) over any other field?

“During my first two years of college, I was undeclared.  I had more ideas of what I didn’t want to be when I grew up than what jobs interested me.  A personal health course turned me on to health education and working in the community.  I was blessed with wonderful mentors – Gwen Scott at Kent State and Scott Simonds and Nan Stout at The University of Michigan School of Public Health – who helped me realize the impact I could make.  I was also attracted to the uniqueness of being a health educator – not a dime a dozen.  The idea of empowering people to live fuller, healthier lives excited me then – and still does today.”

Can you please describe for our Section members your most rewarding experience in HE/HP?

“It’s hard to select just one rewarding part of my career.  I’ve been fortunate to have many experiences that have contributed to my satisfaction:  a field experience in Paraguay with the Amigos de las Americas; creating one of the first patient education programs in the late '70s; working with leading journalists and using the power of the media to reach the public about food safety; moving SOPHE’s offices to Washington, D.C.; testifying before Congress on behalf of health education; and conceptualizing and organizing the first health education advocacy summit.  What’s true for all of these experiences is that they tested my limits and made me take some important personal and professional risks.  I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention my experiences over the years with PHEHP.  Being involved with the Section has exposed me to so many opportunities, not to mention the wonderful people I have been fortunate to work with and learn from.  The time I have devoted has really been “service learning” to the 10th power!”

In your opinion, what strategies can be implemented to attract more students and new professionals to go into the HE/HP field?

One idea is to use health education majors on college campuses to organize public health career fairs and lectures.  SOPHE has written a proposal for this idea, with support from Eta Sigma Gamma.  Our idea is to reach out to undeclared majors on college campuses and invite them to learn about public health careers, especially those attending historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions. This would be a win/win by giving health education students an opportunity to use their program planning skills and test their abilities to communicate – and by giving undeclared majors exposure to new and exciting careers.  We still hope to find a funder for this proposal so that we can attract more minorities to the public health pipeline, including health education.”

We live in an environment that is constantly changing and it is important for public health professionals to recognize such changes in order to meet the needs of our communities. How do you perceive our profession changing in the next 10 years?

“In my opinion, health education is on a very positive trajectory.  First, health educators have the skill set to address the nation’s changing demographics, such as cultural diversity and the increased interest in community empowerment.  Second, with emphasis on quality assurance in the work force, health education is ahead of the curve than other public health occupations by carefully articulating our competencies and having an established certification system.  Health education groups are also working more collaboratively than ever on projects such as marketing the profession to employers.What also offers great promise is that many of our health education peers have risen to very senior/CEO-like positions in academia, government and non-profit agencies. These senior individuals can help make systemic changes that can increase the visibility of our profession and availability of jobs/opportunities.  We need to do more to strengthen and expand our health education career ladders.”

Last but not least, can you tell us what are your professional goals for the next five years?

“Over the next five years, I see myself as continuing to work in the nation’s capitol and being a catalyst for policy change at the federal level for public health.  I aspire to earn recognition as a certified association executive (CAE) to become a better leader and administrator.  I also hope to sharpen my technology skills to take better advantage of the rapidly changing information age.  Last but not least, I hope to continue serving as a unifying force for the health education profession, respecting its diversity and traditions, but also helping to push the envelope for innovation and excellence.”

Coalition for Emergency Preparedness among Chronic Conditions

While the hurricanes of 2005 were responsible for tremendous hardships for the population at large, a survey, conducted by the School of Public Health at Louisiana State University (2005), determined that those with chronic conditions endured further complications with their situation and recovery.   One chronic disease area that was hit particularly hard was the bleeding disorders community.

Hemophilia is a hereditary blood disorder, characterized by bleeding into joints and muscles and at times into vital organs. For all patients with severe bleeding disorders having access to factor replacement product is a life and death issue; the treatment is essential to stop joint bleeding and all internal bleeding.  

Spurred by our efforts to assist bleeding disorders patients in the Gulf, the National Hemophilia Foundation, along with the Centers for Disese Control and Prevention and Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness has embarked on emergency and disaster preparedness training.

Our main goal has been to inform, educate and foster strategies for collaboration on local emergency preparedness planning for those affected and/or serving persons with bleeding disorders.  Six months after our initial training, 72.4 percent, of those trained, reported an average of 2.4 emergency preparedness actions taken; 100 percent of the actions were directly related to NHF’s initial training.

Tailoring emergency preparedness knowledge for specific populations with chronic conditions is an effective method of imparting life-saving information. The National Hemophilia Foundation, the National Center for Disease Preparedness and the CDC Division of Blood Disorders are developing a model for emergency preparedness that can be adapted by other organizations serving individuals and families with chronic conditions.  We are looking for additional partner organizations to ensure that all people with chronic conditions are prepared for the next emergency.  If your organization is interested in joining NHF’s effort, please contact Jen Crawford at (212) 328-3738 or jcrawford@hemophillia.org .

New Strategy to Address Childhood Obesity

The Institute of Medicine's Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth has outlined a comprehensive strategy to address the rising prevalence of childhood obesity. School-based programs to improve nutrition and exercise behaviors form an important component of this strategy.

The Yale Prevention Research Center has developed two innovative exercise and nutrition programs aimed at improving nutrition label literacy and exercise levels among elementary school children. The programs called Nutrition Detectives and ABC For Fitness (Activity Bursts in the Classroom) provide fun, interactive methods to educate and engage elementary school children and facilitate adoption of healthier lifestyles.

Nutrition Detectives is an educational program for Grades K-5 intended to facilitate better food choices and more healthful eating through knowledge of food composition. The intent is to guide choices within food categories so that more nutritious items in any given food category at the supermarket are chosen instead of their less nutritious counterparts.

ABC For Fitness is designed to incorporate incremental brief bouts of physical activity, totaling at least 30 minutes a day, in addition to the time students spend in PE and recess. The evidence based programs require minimal allocation of resources and time and are amenable to integration into existing school curricula and calendars.

The programs have been implemented in a number of schools across eight states. A formal controlled evaluation is currently underway in six schools in Independence, Mo. For more information on the programs and to download program materials please go to www.davidkatzmd.com  or contact Yale PRC at (203) 732-1265.

Meatless Monday Pilot Program in Baltimore County Public Schools

The prevalence of diet-related diseases among adolescents has increased in the United States over the past three decades. Diets high in saturated fat, found mainly in meat and high-fat dairy products, increase the risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer. In an effort to improve health outcomes of adolescents and to set them up for a lifetime of healthier eating, a national public health campaign, Meatless Monday, has teamed up with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health to pilot a project in two Baltimore County public middle schools during the 2006–2007 school year. The project, called It’s Monday – Shake It Up!, encourages students to replace meat with fruits, vegetables and whole grains just one day a week.

Beginning in November of 2006, both participating schools began to offer meatless options at lunch every Monday. Messages urging students to forego meat on Mondays were placed throughout the cafeteria of one school; students at the other school are not being exposed to these messages so that researchers can ascertain whether posters are enough to change students’ eating habits. At the end of the year, school data will be examined to determine if there were any differences in food choices between schools and over time. In addition, surveys are being administered to students at both schools inquiring into their attitudes about the Meatless Monday campaign and about their knowledge of basic nutrition. Finally, a Web site has been developed for student use that features interesting food facts and a weekly challenge.

HIV Disability and Rehabilitation in International Contexts

In 2006, the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR), the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Board (CBC) in the Northwest Province of Cameroon and the International Center for Disability and Rehabilitation (ICDR) at the University of Toronto began a two-year partnership project. The goal is to develop programs integrating rehabilitation, disability and HIV, focusing on gender and stigma as they impact the lives of people living with or vulnerable to HIV.  Through collaboration, the partners are developing and sharing resources and knowledge through educational sessions to bridge traditionally separate worlds and build capacity in issues related to gender, disability, rehabilitation and HIV.

 The partners will learn more about models of community-based rehabilitation that may be applicable to various community contexts internationally.  The use of community-based rehabilitation models may help to increase availability of, and access to, rehabilitation programs and services for people living with HIV.   We are sharing new knowledge with national and regional associations of rehabilitation and HIV care providers as well as people living with HIV, thereby increasing the capacity of care providers to provide rehabilitation services for people living with HIV.  The intention is that this will also increase the overall response in Canada and in Cameroon to the disability and rehabilitation needs of people living with and vulnerable to HIV.

 Communication between the partners occurs regularly through e-mail, phone and in person. A representative of the Cameroonian partners joined Canadian partners at the 2006 International AIDS Conference in Toronto, to exchange knowledge and identify priorities for our work together.  ICDR representatives visited Cameroon in late 2006 to meet with disability, rehabilitation and HIV programs. In 2007, CWGHR, ICDR and CBCHB will be inviting members of the public health community in Cameroon to engage in learning together through workshops that will address HIV/AIDS, disability and rehabilitation. In addition to the development of written materials, the project will conclude with a conference on HIV, disability and rehabilitation.

More information is available from http://www.hivandrehab.ca/english/english.html and http://www.icdr.utoronto.ca/ 

New Group Says Chronic Disease Should be Key Health Care Issue in 2008 election

                                       

Chronic diseases are responsible for seven out of every 10 deaths in the United States, and a new coalition led by former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, and Former HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary and current Rollins School Professor and Chair Ken Thorpe, PhD, seeks to make chronic disease the key health care issue in the 2008 presidential election.  Carmona and Thorpe were joined May 15 in Washington, D.C., by leading experts and organizations in the health care, business and labor communities to launch the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD).

“Coalition participants all agree on a single, undeniable fact: 130 million people suffer from chronic diseases in our nation, and costs are skyrocketing because of preventable and poorly managed chronic diseases. We can—and we must—do something to stop it,” said Carmona, urging action to replace a ‘sick care’ system that often fails to prevent or manage chronic diseases and their morbidity, mortality and financial cost. “The good news is that the benefits of action could be the opposite,” Carmona said.

“Any serious proposal to reform our health care system must address preventable chronic disease,” Thorpe said. “Our nation’s premier business, labor, health care and community organizations are dedicated to making chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, heart disease and cancer the number one health care priority for policy-makers and presidential candidates.”

Thorpe was joined by high-profile health policy experts, including former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Mark McClellan, MD, and leaders from the American Academy of Family Physicians, America’s Agenda: Health Care for All, American Hospital Association, America’s pharmaceutical companies, National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, National Health Council and Service Employee International Union and announced the broad-based effort that aims to change the way our nation approaches chronic disease at a panel discussion today.

“There is a lot of debate about how to pay for health care, but there is a lot of agreement about the need for better prevention and management of chronic diseases that can yield better results for patients and overall cost savings,” said McClellan. “With the presidential election coming up, we intend to do all we can to put the focus on the critical need to reduce the burden of chronic disease. It’s essential for our health and for the sustainability of our health care system.”

In order to bring the issue of chronic disease to the forefront of the national dialogue on health care, the PFCD is modeling its outreach strategy and tactics after a modern-day presidential campaign, including state launches, paid media and an extensive online campaign. John O’Brien, PharmD, MPH, president of public health PR firm Responsible Health and graduate of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, sees even more opportunity for bipartisan, patient-focused, public-private partnerships using political campaign strategies and tactics to change consumer health behavior.

“These partnerships provide public health leaders an opportunity to learn successful strategy and tactics about policy, marketing, communications and media relations from industry-leading full-time professionals, work alongside them to develop educational materials which are helpful to patients and can be used long after the campaign ends and re-use those skills, experiences, and materials in future campaigns to improve health literacy, change health beliefs and provide cues to action,” O'Brien said.

To learn about the fight against chronic disease, appropriate ways to contact policy makers, or obtain research or other materials, visit http://www.fightchronicdisease.org on the web.

Five Years of Public Health Efforts - National Eye Institute Focuses on Vision Care in Communities

Vision health responds to care, though not all Americans perceive or believe this.  Science shows that routine eye examinations are the most effective sight-saving strategy.  To spread this message, the National Eye Institute, one of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health, provides seed money for vision health projects to community-based organizations.  Since 2003, the NEI has supported more than 230 community-based projects in 45 States and Puerto Rico.  Supported projects address Healthy Vision 2010 goals, which are a part of Healthy People 2010, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Awards focus on educating Americans about the importance of preventive vision care and offer public health education about preventing vision loss. Almost 60 percent of supported projects have educated communities about preventable vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy.  More than a quarter of funded projects educate Americans about the early detection of glaucoma, which often has no symptoms.  Almost a third of projects educate people about vision rehabilitation. To help Americans develop good habits and to support communicating the vision health message early, almost 10 percent of funded projects focus on increasing vision screening for preschool-aged children. In five years, NEI Healthy Vision Community Awards have reached tens of thousands of people with one consistent message: Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam.  Make vision a health priority.

More information can be found at http://www.healthyvision2010.nei.nih.gov/news/hvca/.

Consider Joining the Worksite Health Promotion Committee

The Worksite Health Promotion Committee is searching for members interested in serving as co-chair of the Committee along with Kimberly L. Peabody.  PHEHP members interested in assisting with the Committee revitalization and/or serving as Committee co-chair should contact Kimberly L. Peabody kimberly.peabody@okstate.edu. Peabody hopes to have a huge gathering of Worksite Health Promoters at the committee meeting during the 2008 APHA Annual Meeting!

Health Communication Working Group Plans APHA Meeting Events

The Health Communication Working Group (HCWG) will host three special events at the Annual Meeting: two solicited sessions and HCWG’s 4th Annual Film/Media Festival. 

 

Solicited Sessions

 

Communication and Disaster: Challenges and Needs Associated with Three Types of DisastersCommunication strategies can play a critical role in facilitating timely and effective responses to disasters and fostering coping. However, challenges and needs may vary by disaster type. Presenters will identify communication challenges associated with: natural, man-made intentional and slow motion environmental/technological disasters.

 

Communication Strategies to Influence Policy-Makers:  The Role of Media Advocacy in Policy and Social Change – Mass media can be used strategically to educate and influence policy- makers on health issues and advance social change and adoption of health policies. This session will focus on theory and practice of media advocacy and include models, case studies and post-intervention evaluations.

Film Festival

Gary Black, manager of the HCWG Film Festival since its inception, commented: “I’ve really had fun getting this festival started and watching it grow. Viewers have a great opportunity to see work being created by agencies all across the country.” Black, health communication specialist at the Mecklenburg County (N.C.) Health Department, said, “Over 100 people attended each session of last year’s Festival and some were standing room only. This year's Film and Technology Theatre will provide a larger space and better hardware. That should provide us a better quality viewing experience.”

To submit work, contact Linda Bergonzi King, MPH, at bellapro@aol.com.  To help with the Festival itself, contact Gary Black at Gary.Black@mecklenburgcountync.gov.

 

SOPHE News

The Society for Public Health Education is hosting a variety of upcoming events.  For additional information on these events and other SOPHE news and activities, please visit www.sophe.org. 

 

SOPHE Upcoming meetings

 

·         SOPHE is serving on the planning committee for the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media, August 29-30, 2007, at CDC’s Global Communications Center. For more information about the call for abstracts, please visit http://www.blsweb.net/cdc/callforabstracts.cfm .  For conference information, see http://www.cdc.gov/healthmarketing/conference2007.htm .

·         SOPHE is co-sponsoring WorkLife 2007: Protecting and Promoting Worker Health Symposium with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, to be held Sept. 10-11, 2007 in Bethesda, Md.

·         SOPHE’s 58th Annual Meeting, Partnerships to Achieve Health Equity, will be held in collaboration with CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) and Eta Sigma Gamma. The meeting will be held in Alexandria, Va., from Oct. 31 – Nov. 3, 2007. 

·         SOPHE is serving on the planning committee for the 2007 National Prevention and Health Promotion Summit, Creating a Culture of Wellness, Nov. 27-29, 2007, Washington, D.C.  See www.healthierus.gov .

 

Other events and activities

 

·         SOPHE is planning a Pandemic Influenza Risk Communication Workshop Sept. 20-21, 2007.  Contact tmaslak@sophe.org for additional information.

·         Join SOPHE and other health education professionals in celebrating National Health Education Week, Oct. 14-20, 2007. SOPHE offers a free planning guide to assist health education professional plan national, local or regional activities. The Guide features sample activities and templates that can be used for any health related topic.  Additional NHEW materials and resources will be available this summer.