By Lauren del ValleASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
National Public Health Week (NPHW) reached Hofstra’s campus via a collaborative effort of the School of Health Sciences and Human Services and Hofstra North Shore–LIJ School of Medicine.
Former President Bill Clinton declared the first full week of April as National Public Health Week in 1995. The American Public Health Association spearheads the nationwide annual initiative in cooperation with policymakers and local sponsors.
Dr. Corinne Kyriacou, the director of the Master of Public Health program, orchestrated the second annual initiative to service the community and students in contingency with the graduate-student run Society of Public Health Advocates (SOPHA).
“My first goal is to have my graduate students act like scholar advocates,” said Kyriacou. “You know, that they bring the research and translate it to the community in a way that people care about.”
Health and sciences major Amanda Salhab volunteered to help run the series events as she aspires to one day pursue a master’s of public health in Hofstra’s graduate program. Salhab found health literacy to be a worthy matter covered by NPHW this year.
“Health and dental are usually different when it comes to insurance plans and whatnot so we learned a lot about that and how to incorporate it,” said Salhab.
Program events ranged from health fairs to film festivals and discussion panels featuring local public health professionals. “Run or Dye 5K” Saturday morning will mark the close of the series. It is a run around Uniondale trails. Alicia Colangelo, a second-year graduate pursuing her master’s in public health, gleaned a new way to assess projects and thus, her future career.
“Today we had a culture and diversity speaker on a panel and it really made me realize how much that affects what we do. Where if you had asked me before I went to that panel discussion I wouldn’t really have thought that having diversity in the field would affect the way we deliver our programs. But it absolutely does.”
SOPHA treasurer Amanda Dugan appreciated the evolvement of the series in comparison to last year’s program.
“It brings together things we learn in the classroom and how they’re applying out in the field and it also brings in different perspectives that maybe we haven’t learned in class yet,” said Dugan.
Kyriacou sought to give her students the firsthand experience amongst professionals with industry experience.
“It really replicates what it’s like to work in the public health field. Everything in public health is about collaboration; this week-long event series allows students and professionals to come together and share knowledge and skills,” said Colangelo.