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August 2016 E-NEWS

Table of Contents

Seeking Help Secure Public Health Funding

Community Health Workers

UPHA Has a New Employee

Board Member Spotlight

Student Board Member Spotlight

Save the Dates!

   

Help secure public health funding

Are you ready to advocate for more public health funding?  UPHA is joining the American Public Health Association by participating in their annual Public Health Action (PHACT) Campaign. The Summer Recess for Congress began on July 18th and continues through September 2nd.  This is a great time to be on the lookout for town halls and public events to meet your members of Congress and candidates. You can “friend” them on social media to keep on top of their schedules. Grab a few friends and visit their local staff offices to advocate for important public health issues. Or, if in person visits aren’t your thing, make a phone call or two or write a letter to the editor or op-ed.  Following are the PHACT priorities:

  • Public Health Funding
  • Prevention and Public Health Fund
  • Climate Change and Health
  • Child Nutrition Reauthorization
  • Gun Violence Prevention

You can find out more details about each of these priority areas by visiting the following web page:  http://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/advocacy-for-public-health/phact-campaign
Be on the lookout for advocacy alerts from the UPHA Policy Unit and take action on these important health issues.  When we all raise our voices together, our leaders in Congress are more likely to listen!

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Community Health Workers

There is a growing profession in the public health world called community health workers (CHW). Many states have been working to standardize and certify their training in order to advance the profession and develop sustainability. Utah has also been working hard on a similar goal through the CHW Coalition, led by the Utah Department of Health. If you’re unfamiliar with CHWs, read on to learn more.

Who are Community Health Workers?
In 2015, the Utah Broad-Based Community Health Worker Coalition (CHWC) was developed to coordinate the work. The CHWC is managed by Anna Guymon of the EPICC department under the Utah department of Health. The CHWC has adopted the following definition of a community health worker:
A community health worker is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.
A community health worker also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.

Is there an organization for CHWs in Utah?
Yes, under the umbrella of UPHA a Community Health Workers Section was approved by Board members.
The UPHA CHW Section seeks to promote the community's voice within the healthcare system through development of the role of Community Health Workers (including Promotores de Salud, Community Health Representatives, Community Health Advisors, and related titles) and provides a forum to share resources and strategies.

Who else is working with the CHW Coalition?
Other partners include Intermountain Healthcare, the Association of Utah Community Health (AUCH), Comunidades Unida, Holy Cross Ministries, Alliance Community Services, Local Health Departments, Molina Healthcare, and many, many more.

How do I learn more about CHWs or the work happening?
For more information about Community Health Workers, please contact Oreta M. Tupola, CHW Coordinator at UPHA at otupola@upha.org. Join our CHW Section at upha.org.

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UPHA Has a new employee

In March 2015, UPHA welcomed its second employee, Oreta Tupola. Oreta was hired to be the CHW Coordinator to help build and grow the new CHW Section. She comes to Utah from Hawaii and brings a wealth of experience. She is a social worker and has worked in healthcare and community agencies in Hawaii. Oreta says “My grandmothers Moli Niumatalolo-Mapu and Tauamo Mauga Salanoa Malufau have always taught me that all of us have a role and responsibility in this world and it will be a calling that will give me an opportunity to serve others. They taught me that I will find this calling through my life’s experiences and when I do, I must use my strengths and talents to give back to the community and the people who have given so much to me.”

Her direction in the new section is already proving incredibly valuable as she makes connections with the CHWs in the community, partner organizations, and others who are interested in the work of CHWs.

Welcome Oreta to UPHA!

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Upha Board Member spotlight

Cynthia (Cindy) Morgan PhD, MSN, RN
Tubing in Jamaica
Tubing Jamaica 001e
Where do you currently work/go to school?
I retired for the third time after 7 years of employment with the Salt Lake County Health Department coming full circle in my career in public health. I started working formally in public health with the Salt Lake City County Health Department in 1979 although I had worked 6 years in various programs in various agencies that were public-health “related”.  I have worked in local public health in CO, CA, and UT and state public health in TX. I began my career PHN doing home visits and staffing clinics and moved into supervision, taught public health nursing at the BSN and MS levels at two universities (BYU and The University of TX at Austin), then moved back into service in emergency management in TX in 2004 just in time to be the deputy planning section chief for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Department of State Health Services in TX. Now “retired.” I consult part time in emergency planning and response. My sole proprietorship LLC is Creative Public Health Solutions most of which can be accomplished in a motor home in any place with internet or Verizon phone access (I love my VERIZON JetPack).

Why did you choose to pursue public health as your profession?
I have to admit I learned about public health by default. It was not so much that I went after it as a career, I rather backed into it during my senior year in the nursing program. I absolutely hated hospital nursing. I was in a baccalaureate program that placed students in clinical rotations in hospitals which were phasing out their diploma programs. Staff and their students hated us. My school was 50 miles away from San Francisco, the center for the hippie lifestyle, and San Jose State followed their lead. Women’s lib, equality, anti-war demonstrations. . . all of this played into my distaste for the paternalism that hospitals sustained. The people, their rights, the injustices of society and a good long talking to by my counsellor and my mother moved me toward public health and I never looked back.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
Ireland – specifically Castlequarter and Newcastle, Co. Waterford and Ardfinnan, Co. Tipperary.

What time do you typically go to bed and get up in the morning?
The older I get, the worse my sleep patterns become. If you asked me 10 years ago the answer would have been 9:30-10PM and 5-6AM depending on activities of the day. The last 10 years is the answer is 11PM-1AM arising at 6AM but at least twice a week maybe 2-3AM. Ask my co-workers.

If money weren’t an issue right now, what would you be doing?
Genealogy-related travel. While the Internet and Family History Libraries are wonderful, they can’t replace walking the streets your ancestors walked, meeting relatives on those streets, and learning their stories in context.

What has been the most rewarding project you’ve worked on as a public health professional?
I have to say the most rewarding work has been my work with the CDC and NACCHO on determining antiviral and vaccine distribution processes during an influenza pandemic. I have worked almost 10 years on this project beginning during my time at the DSHS in TX. This work has moved into developing new collaborations with community pharmacies as resources for the dispensing of federal assets of both antivirals and vaccine to the general population. In August of 2015, Salt Lake County hosted one of two functional exercises in the nation examining pharmacy processes and throughput for dispensing antivirals and pandemic vaccine. The culmination of my career came when I was asked to present on pharmacy/public health collaboration at the Institute of Medicine in Washington D.C.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Costco triple berry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

What is the best thing you’ve done in your life?
Professionally – everything I have done has centered on making life better for people. On the individual level, educating students to look at beyond the individual to preventing the reasons why the individual entered the illness care delivery system - especially to chip away at social determinants of health.
Personally – helping family and friends during times of need.

What do you to do relax?
Anything that takes me to a different reality (no not drugs – more like watching a number of episodes of a TV series I just discovered on Netflix  or a scifi movie or two) or allows me to be with friends laughing a lot.

If you could give only one reason why someone should join UPHA, what would it be?
One reason is hard so I have tried to identify a common denominator. Public Health is a composite of many professional disciplines such as nursing, epidemiology, laboratory, health education, pharmacy, and environmental health, and it is provided across many forms such as government, the private sector, and NGOs. UPHA is THE ONLY organization which provides the medium for bringing diverse disciplines and providers together toward common goals related to population and community health and well-being. It provides one voice for the public health community.

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student Board member spotlight

Amelia PrebishAmelia Prebish
Vaccine Preventable Disease Intern
Bureau of Epidemiology, Utah Department of Health

Amelia grew up in Miami, Florida and moved to Jackson, Wyoming at age 16, where weekly passions of boating, fishing, and snorkeling turned into snowboarding, hiking, and river rafting. After graduating from Jackson Hole High School, she continued her educational journey at Westminster College. When encouraged by her academic advisor to enroll in an Introduction to Public Health class, Amelia found her passion. During her undergraduate career, she was actively involved in the Vagina Monologues Production and fundraiser for the Rape Recovery Center, as well Westminster College’s GSA. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health in 2013.

After a two year break Amelia felt that the only time she had been truly passionate about her work was when she was in school, which led her to enroll in the Masters of Public Health program at Westminster College. She is currently in the second year of her MPH and working as a vaccine preventable disease intern at the Utah Department of Health. Since interning at UDOH, Amelia has worked on two data analysis projects surrounding personal exemptions from vaccines; data analysis of the 2015 measles outbreak quarantine survey, which can help improve future outbreak response from public health; and overall improvement of data collection and data quality of varicella based on CDC guidelines.

In her free time, Amelia can be found snowboarding, hiking, or spending time with family. She loves basketball (sorry Jazz fans, GO HEAT!), hip-hop music, and Game of Thrones. Amelia is also known for “nerding-out” and involving her friends and family in public health issues and discussions; some enjoy it more than others (Ha!). For bucket list items, she would love to travel to the Maldives and go on an African safari.

Amelia is very excited for the opportunity to work with Utah Public Health Association Student Assembly as Co-President and is looking forward to what new adventures are on the way. As all of us do in public health, she wants to make the community a healthier, safer, more equal place. With a growing world population and rising temperatures, there couldn’t be a better time to be involved in Public Health!

 

 

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