This past fall I (virtually) attended the American Public Health Association Conference. While I was unable to make it in person, I was still able to glean a lot of valuable information on the trends and new research in the field of public health. Here are some of the highlights from the conference, which fall into two broad themes: community health promotion and teaching public health.
In the area of health promotion, I learned about creative strategies to reach specific populations including children and the elderly. Laura Nabors, PhD, from the University of Cincinnati, shared about the use of storyboarding, a unique technique for capturing children’s perceptions, to teach kids about healthy eating, especially fruits. A second presenter shared about “The Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) Road Map”, a framework designed to equip public health professionals to act in their communities to improve brain health and to support caregivers.
In regard to strategies for teaching public health, I was particularly interested in strategies for the undergraduate student population. I’ll just share a couple lessons that were shared!
First, Joyvina Evans, PhD from Howard University shared about the inclusion of an implicit bias module, based on Harvard’s Implicit Associations test, within a Health Marketing course. I look forward to integrating some of her insights into my spring classes.
A second creative teaching approach was to use a simulation of a zombie apocalypse to teach students about public health preparedness, infectious disease prevention, science communication, and the social determinants of health.
While the chances for educational enrichment were a bit overwhelming at the conference, I am very grateful for this opportunity to deepen my knowledge in the public health field!