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January 2017 E-NEWS

Table of Contents

Advocacy Summit 2017: Register Now

Public Health Spotlight: E-Cigarettes

Community Health Worker Update

Student Assembly Project: County Homeless Point in Time Count

UPHA 2017 Annual Conference: Abstract Deadline Extended!

Board Member Spotlight: Jefferson Vick

Student Board Member Spotlight: Matthew Wells

Save the Dates!


Advocacy Summit 2017: Register now

This year’s Advocacy Summit is so full of great information, it had to be expanded to a full-day event. The theme is It’s All In Your Head; A Discussion of Policies to Improve Mental Health and Relieve Addiction.

January 19, 2017
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
State Office Building Auditorium

Topics include: Preventing Suicide, Opioid Addiction, and a Legislative Panel. There will also be a screening of the documentary “Dying in Vein”.
Register today at http://www.upha.org/advocacysummit2017.html

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public health spotlight: E-Cigarettes

The U.S. surgeon general is calling e-cigarettes an emerging public health threat to the nation's youth. In a report released on Dec. 8th, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy acknowledged a need for more research into the health effects of "vaping," but said e-cigarettes aren't harmless and too many teens are using them. Local experts agree, including Dr. Lara Hardman, Pulmonologist at Intermountain Memorial Clinic. She wrote the follow article, warning parents to be wary of e-cigarettes.

There is a lot of misinformation out there, so I want to help set the record straight. First, there is NO data (zero, nil) that e-cigarettes are safe to use. If someone tells you they are safe, they are giving false and misleading information. Here is what we actually know:

  1. There is nicotine in e-cigarettes which is one of the most addicting substances known. Nicotine itself is harmful and a cancer-causing agent.
  2. Kids and teenagers who use e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes. If they already smoke tobacco cigarettes and use e-cigarettes, they are less likely to quit.
  3. E-cigs are big business for the tobacco industry. This year US consumers will spend 3 billion dollars on e-cigarettes, twice what they did last year!

All of the major tobacco companies are now in the e-cigarette business. These businesses are the same people who spent decades perfecting the art of data distortion and saying smoking was not bad for us. They are advertising to our kids, normalizing smoking behaviors and cigarette use, and it is working. Nearly 1/3 (31.7%) of Utah youths who tried e-cigarettes report that they have never tried conventional cigarettes. Studies have shown that kids who use e-cigarettes are heavier, not lighter smokers. Utah youth are three times more likely to report current use than adults. Despite the legal smoking age of 19, youth can get e-cigarettes fairly easily from the internet and retail shops. Kids use of e-cigarettes has tripled from 2011 to 2013.

Another concern is the lack of regulation around the content of these products. The Davis County Health Department found that e-juice nicotine contents were up to 3 times higher than the labeled amount and e-juice labeled as nicotine-free actually had nicotine in it. The FDA has announced it will start regulating content and labeling, but this won’t go into effect for a few years. In the meantime, consumers can’t be certain what is in the e-juice. In addition to nicotine, there are other harmful ingredients which are heated and inhaled into the lungs. E-juice has been shown to contain formaldehyde, other carcinogens, and toxic ultrafine particles which damage the lungs.

You may hear about kids who smoke e-cigarettes (who would never consider smoking regular cigarettes) that insist they are safe and can even pull up web sites that confirm their opinion. Please remember, they are NOT safe, and getting your information from the tobacco industry is unwise. The tobacco industry has a long history of making false public statements about the content, delivery, and safety of their products. There is no data on safety, the success of use as a smoking cessation product, or even their ingredients. Be as diligent about teaching your children to avoid e-cigarettes as tobacco cigarettes.

Lara L. Hardman, M.D.
Diplomate, ABIM Pulmonary Disease

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Community health worker update

By: Oreta Tupola

The UPHA Community Health Worker Section is making great strides! In October we started meeting monthly to develop 3 things: a leadership team, a strong mission, and a vision. With a lot of great and diverse group discussion, our growing membership of CHW’s discussed who they are, what they do, why they do it, and what they foresee the CHW Professional Association looking like in the future. Edwin Espinel, a trusted member of the Community, was chosen to facilitate these discussions. The feedback and wealth of knowledge was evident as CHW’s shared the skills, roles, responsibilities, and barriers of their work and what they would like to see change in their community and work settings. 

Co-Chairs Jeannette Villalta and Yehemy Zavala are excited with the participation of Community Health Workers. Many are still trying to figure out how the UPHA CHW Section will benefit and support them in the field, yet they are showing up every month and contributing in the building and development of the Section. Their vision of how the Section will become a home that will build the capacity of CHWs in the workforce and empowering them through advocacy of systematic change is coming to fruition. Community Health Workers who are attending the monthly meetings have shared feeling recommitted and rejuvenated to continue their work because they felt a strong support system from these meetings and are reminded of the need for their services in their communities. When Jeannette was asked what was your reason or vision 5 years ago, Jeannette responded “To give back to my community but also to recognize the work of other pioneer CHWs in my community that were instrumental in my own life and who provided a way for me to do the same for others.”

Recruitment of Leadership Board members which consist of a Chair, Chair Elect, Treasurer, Secretary and Communication Chair has not come easy. However, Jeannette and Yehemy are optimistic that as the section continues to grow they will be able to identify committed leaders who will fill open positions. Many individuals have been working on the organization of this Section for over 5 years and are committed to see it blossom. Maria Guadarrama and Yeny Arones, both CHWs with the Association of Utah Community Health will Chair Communications. The Communications team is working on a website and social media accounts to reach more CHWs in the State. Oreta Tuploa, CHW Coordinator for UPHA, has been meeting with groups by request and referral from members of the Section. She is also participating in training discussions with potential Agencies that employ CHWs.

The Association is working on other resources that will ensure they are equipped with the core skills needed in working with community members. One of these resources is a Certification of Core Skills Curriculum that will be developed and delivered by Community Health Workers for Community Health Workers.

The richness of the monthly meetings that have been held comes from the passion and devotion of the community health workers that attend. Representing members of the Pacific Island, Asian, Latino, Sudan, Native American and Botanese communities they bring expertise and trust from their community members who look to them as bridges, connectors, and translators to needed resources. CHW members believe that they are called to this work but also that they are being watched closely by other disciplines who are unaware of who they are or what they do. After long hours of their day jobs they attend the CHW monthly meetings and developed a mission and vision they felt defines their mission and vision moving forward in Utah. Together they voted and agreed that this is who they are and what they would like to see in the future:

The UPHA Community Health Worker Association’s mission is “ We empower Community Health Workers in Utah by recognizing, embracing and advocating for the impact and value of their work within our diverse communities” Our vision, “ We envision a Utah where well trained Community Health Workers are the cornerstone to health and social justice.”

We encourage Community Health Workers to join us! T next meeting is the last Tuesday in January. An email will be sent out to remind members with more details. We will be having a pot luck to celebrate the New Year so come and bring your favorite dish, or just come!

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Student Assembly Project: county homeless point in time count

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that communities receiving federal funds to conduct a point-in-time count at least every other year at the end of January. The UPHA Student Assembly is volunteering to help with the count in 2017. The Count will take place from January 25 through January 28. Those volunteering will conduct surveys with persons experiencing homelessness who are living on the streets. More than 100 volunteers are needed.
If you would like to participate, you can contact Dan at Daniel.Denhalter@Utah.edu.

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upha 2017 annual confernce: abstract deadline extended!

If you were hoping to submit an abstract for the UPHA conference but didn’t before the year ended, you are in luck. The abstract deadline has been extended to January 22!
The Utah Public Health Association is announcing the CALL FOR ABSTRACTS for the 2017 Annual Public Health Conference to be held March 27-29, 2017 at the Park City Marriott, Park City UT. We are seeking innovative proposals for topics relating to all areas of public health.
All abstracts must be submitted online. An easy to use online form will walk you through the process. Link directly through the conference website at http://www.upha.org/conference/pages/abstracts2017.htm.
Authors must provide complete and accurate contact information in order to be notified of abstract status.

You do not have to be a member of UPHA to submit an abstract. If your abstract is accepted for a presentation or poster session, you and any co-presenters who will be attending must each register and pay for the conference, at the reduced presenter registration fee.
Visit the conference website for additional information:  www.upha.org/conference

Submission options:

  • Program / Research Presentation (30 or 60 minutes):  Program/Research sessions are intended to provide attendees a synopsis of a public health program or relevant research. Presenters should ensure that time is available for Q & A during their session.
  • Poster Session (pre-designated breakout time frame): Poster sessions are intended to provide a graphic presentation of program or research findings by displaying graphs, photos, diagrams, and descriptive text.  The authors will then hold discussions with the registrants who are circulating among the poster boards during the designated poster session time frame. The presenter(s) should remain by his/her poster board for the duration of the breakout session to answer questions.                                                          
    We welcome your submissions and look forward to your contribution at the 2017 Utah Public Health Conference.
                                                                                                                                              Extended Abstract Deadline: January 22, 2017
                    11:59 pm (MST)
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board member spotlight: Jefferson Vick

Jefferson VickWhere do you currently work/go to school?

I work in the College of Humanities Dean’s office at the University of Utah as the Business Specialist.
I am currently enrolled in the Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

Why did you choose to pursue public health as your profession?

Public health is not my current profession but I hope to become more involved in this sector.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

My favorite vacation spot is Boston, Massachusetts because of the historical sites.

What time do you typically go to bed and get up in the morning?

I typically go to bed at 11:00 P.M. and wake up at 6:30 A.M.

If money weren’t an issue right now, what would you be doing?

If money weren’t an issue right now, I would be a part time public school teacher and golf on the weekends.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Banbury Cross Donuts

What is the best thing you’ve done in your life?

The best thing I’ve done in my life is marry my sweetheart. The second best thing I’ve done is serve a mission for the LDS church in Mexico. While I was in Mexico, I had the opportunity to help a village connect pipe from a natural water spring and run it to their village. The work was very hard but it was immensely gratifying.

What do you to do relax?

I go running and listen to opera music (not at the same time).

If you could give only one reason why someone should join UPHA, what would it be?

UPHA gives citizens of Utah a unique opportunity to enhance to quality of life for our communities and our state.

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student board member Spotlight: matthew wells

Matthew WellsMatthew grew up in Northern California in a small town north of Stockton called Lodi. He has enjoyed a diverse, multicultural upbringing. His father is from Alaska and his mother is an immigrant from China. His childhood neighborhood had strong Mexican influences and Matthew has lived in Africa for some time as well. His exposure to differing cultures of the world has fueled his interest in public health and understanding the barriers in cross-cultural communications.

Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs. His hobbies include a daily investigation into the culinary arts, fitness, and eating everything in sight. His interest in cultures is reflected in his love for food, travelling, and understanding new peoples through cuisine. Matthew also loves to be involved in sports. He has played baseball, basketball, and collegiate rugby. He believes personal fitness is central to maintaining a balanced and productive lifestyle.

Matthew is currently halfway through his Master of Public Health/Master of Healthcare Administration dual degree program at the University of Utah. He enjoys the perspective gained from studying from both the School of Medicine and the School of Business. He works closely with both programs, assisting in project development and implementation. As he enters the home stretch of his studies, he looks forward to using his education to benefit populations on both a community and global scale.

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Save the Dates!

Don't forget to mark your calendars, and share these events with your colleagues!


This year’s Advocacy Summit is so full of great information, it had to be expanded to a full-day event. The theme is It’s All In Your Head; A Discussion of Policies to Improve Mental Health and Relieve Addiction.

January 19, 2017
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
State Office Building Auditorium

Topics include: Preventing Suicide, Opioid Addiction, and a Legislative Panel. There will also be a screening of the documentary “Dying in Vein”.
Register today at http://www.upha.org/advocacysummit2017.html

2017 upha logo

2017 UPHA Annual Conference - March 27-29

Theme: Building a Culture of Health in Utah

Pre conference Sessions: Monday, March 27, 2016
Main Conference : Tuesday - Wednesday, March 28-29

Park City Marriott - Book Your Hotel Room Now!

Web Site: www.upha.org/conference

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