Thanks to the effort of the Student Council here at ColoradoSPH at CSU, our students joined together to celebrate and learn during National Public Health Week (NPHW). The week was packed full of events, from a social media drive, to trivia night, an impactful panel, and culminating in a field day. Here are some of the highlights from the week!
Starting on Monday, students took to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #StudentsOfPublicHealth to share their experiences in public health. This opportunity also brought students together in a Facebook class page that allowed one another to learn from their peers and grow as professionals. The Student Council held a swag raffle for everyone who shared a post and tagged their account.
On Tuesday, the recently formed Journal Club held its weekly meeting and used the focus of NPHW to draw in a larger crowd (check out our story about the Journal Club on our website). During the meeting, students discussed an article related to insects, nature, and the environment in public health. They looked at bugs as possible sources of sustainable food, and the conversation was as insightful as it was light-hearted. Students shared their experiences regarding insects and bugs as a food source. One student, Cydney Jardine, reflects on her Journal Club experience from the week,
“Journal club is a really great opportunity for students to discuss relevant public health topics. I always learn a lot about issues I’ve never heard of before so I’m able to add pieces of information to my ‘tool belt.’ I would say I don’t have as great a public health background as some folks in the program, so Journal Club has really provided me with some great introductions to issues I should know and care about, especially ones that are outside of my concentration!”
Wednesday evening saw students come together to write and send Thank You notes to active public health professionals. This unique opportunity was created to allow students the time and space to thank people important to them in their public health journeys and help foster relationships. The second part of the evening was put on by the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, and it featured a Trivia Night all about public health. Students were able to socialize, test their knowledge, and also get to know the professionals who currently work for Larimer County.
The fourth event of the week was an insightful and emotional Transgender Health Panel on Thursday evening. Sitting on the panel were four community members who each brought a personal understanding of the transgender community. Students heard from various health care providers and students about a wide variety of experiences and health disparities that effect the transgender community. Public health students were given the chance to ask questions of the panel to expand their knowledge in a comfortable and safe space. An added benefit of this event was that students were able to attend virtually or in person to match their comfort level. Reagan Chiaverini shares her highlights from the health panel,
“As a future practicing epidemiologist, it is crucial for me to understand the varying health inequities in many different groups of people. Going to the trans health panel was informative for me as a cisgendered woman to stop and listen to the stories and experiences of people who have experienced health inequity and quite frankly had horrifying experiences with trying to access necessary healthcare. Learning about the many barriers that these individuals experienced made me personally realize the privilege I have had when accessing healthcare and how important it is for me to be an ally in public health for those who do not have those privileges.”
Rounding out the week was a picnic-style social event. Students, staff, and faculty joined together in one of Fort Collins many beautiful parks to share a meal and play games.
As members of the public health community, we often forget to take a moment to celebrate the hard work that one another does to better our community. This National Public Health Week gave the students and faculty of ColoradoSPH a great opportunity to come together and reflect on all that has been learned in the last year.
Written by: Erica J Carter