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October 2017 E-NEWS

Table of Contents

Utah Health Policy Project – Take Care Utah

Utah’s Low Screening Rates Take Priority During Breast Cancer Awareness Month


2018 Conference: Save The Date


Mini Grant Award Recipients


Utah Community Health Workers Section


UPHA Nutrition Section Events


UPHA Professional Development Webinar


Utah One Health Symposium, November 17, 2017


Board Spotlight: JoDee Baker, MPH


Student Spotlight: David Contreras, MPH/MHA


Utah Health Policy Project – Take Care Utah

Health insurance is complicated. With all the rumors of “repeal and replace,” there are more questions and confusion than ever about what is available for Utahns. For the time being, the ACA is here to stay, however there have been several changes that you need to be aware of to communicate to others.

  1. The window for open enrollment for the health insurance exchanges has be cut in half, only lasting 45 days. Anyone applying for 2018 insurance through the exchange must do so from November 1 through December 15, 2017. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2018
  2. Utah has two insurance companies that are staying on the exchange: SelectHealth and the University of Utah Health Plans. We are fortunate that Utahns will have options- some states don’t.
  3. Grant funding has been cut to the navigator program, making assistance in enrolling a challenge. However, agencies in Utah had committed to help families.
  4. The administration has cut cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to the insurance companies These are what subsidizes the cost on insurance for families through the exchange. This likely won’t have an impact on 2018 rates, as they have already been set, but could impact 2019 rates.
  5. 86% of Utahns enrolling in the marketplace received a premium subsidy; Utah enrollment rate continues to increase- showing that our citizens use the exchange to find and purchase health insurance.
  6. The latest US Census data shows a 37% drop in the Utah’s uninsured rate between 2010 (when the ACA policies started) and 2015.

There is help for Utahns who have questions about insurance plans, subsidies, and options. Take Care Utah (TCU) is a statewide network of trained and helpful experts ready to help Utahns (free of charge) learn about and sign up for health insurance. Since 2013, TCU helped tens of thousands of Utahns enroll in new coverage and save hundreds of dollars a month on insurance premiums and deductibles. TCU helps families understand and apply for Medicaid, CHIP, and Affordable Care Act insurance through healthcare.gov. Take Care Utah is run by Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP), the Association for Utah Community Health (AUCH) and United Way of Salt Lake/2-1-1. Find local, free assistance by going to www.takecareutah.org or calling 2-1-1 from anywhere in the state.


Utah’s Low Screening Rates Take Priority During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

(Salt Lake City, UT) – Each October, communities and social media are flooded with a sea of pink, as individuals come together in support of raising awareness for breast cancer. This year, the focus during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month moves beyond raising awareness, to a direct call to action for Utahns to get screened.

The breast cancer screening rates in Utah continue to be significantly lower than the national average. Only 65 percent of Utah women get the recommended breast cancer screenings, compared with 72 percent of women nationally. Additionally, data from the Utah Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Plan, show screening rates in Utah have declined since 2000. Increasing breast cancer screening is a priority of the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), the Utah Cancer Action Network, and healthcare professionals throughout the state.

“Our goal is for Utah to be the healthiest state in the nation,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert shortly before officially declaring October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Utah. “Getting the recommended breast cancer screenings is an important step for women to take. Mammograms can find cancer early, when the chances of successfully treating it are highest. Our goal this year is to make sure that all Utah women who should be getting screened for breast cancer, are getting screened.”

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the UDOH Cancer Control Program is launching its redesigned website, CancerUtah.org. The website makes it easy for Utah women to find a screening location close to where they live, as well as resources to get a free mammogram for women who may be low-income, do not have insurance, or may be underinsured.

For more information about breast cancer screening locations, visit CancerUtah.org.

UPHA 2018 conference: save the date

2018 Conf SaveTheDate

Mini Grant Award Recipients

The Utah Public Health Association Financial Management Unit is excited to announce the 1st annual mini grant award recipients. Funding for the grants come from the dividends generated by the UPHA Community Health Endowment Fund, which reached its goal of $100K this year.

UPHA presented the public with an opportunity to apply for a public health mini grant. In August 21 2017, UPHA achieved a mini grant milestone by awarding funds to three grant requests. The UPHA awarded $1,000 each to the 2017-2018 mini-grant recipients whose innovative programs/projects demonstrated feasibility, impact and evidence-based practice. Awardees were selected by members of the UPHA Board. Recipients of the mini grants will have 6 months to complete their project and will present their project at the 2018 Utah Public Health Conference.

The mini-grant recipients are:

Utah County Health Department
Environmental Intervention for Asthma Home Visit Program

The Utah County Health Department receives weekly referral for any patient with severe or uncontrolled asthma. The Asthma Home Visit Program conducts three in-home visits as well as follow-up phone class at 6 and 12 months. Grant money will be used to purchase cleaning supplies that will be provided to families to help control environmental triggers in their home.

Utah County Photo


Planned Parenthood
Teen Success

Since the program began in 2011, Teen Success has helped over 100 pregnant and parenting teens achieve their personal and educational goals. The Teen Success program aims in providing supportive and educational groups where pregnant and parenting teens meet to learn information, and skills to prevent additional teen pregnancies, coping with the challenges of parenthood, develop life skills and receive support to successfully complete their education. This grant will allow Teen Success to pursue better relationships with secondary academic institutions and create a pathway program that gives participants options to attend college.

Teen Success Photo

Salt Lake County Health Department
Asthma Home Visiting Program Expansion Project

This project will expand the current work of the Utah Asthma Home Visiting Program in Salt Lake County by funding an additional Spanish speaking staff member to implement the program and reach more disparate and at-risk populations. Health educators offer three home visits to educate on asthma basics, reducing triggers in the home and provide additional follow-up support. This grant will allow for additional 45-90 home visits. The end goal is to empower individuals to take control of their asthma and increase their quality of life.

SLCoHD Photo

UTAH Community health work Section

2017 UPHA CHW Section
Annual Celebration Dinner

Celebrating CHWs in Utah!
Past, Present and Future!

It was a night to remember, as we highlighted the work of the Community Health Worker Section members for their work in Utah communities. We also celebrated the diversity that unites the work and the people we serve as we understand the importance of bridging the gaps in services to meet the needs of our communities.

All Attending Photo

Through dance, food, and healthy conversation those in attendance shared feelings of hope, unity and strength.

Dancers Photo More Dancers Photo More Dancers

We are vulnerable of burn out, stress and fatigue as our work involves dealing with children, families, and individuals who are dealing with multiple barriers to care. As CHWs we take home much of what we experience and have to learn how to balance our personal lives with those experiences to ensure self-care. And although it can be hard, we are rewarded with the impact stories of many who share that the work we do has helped a single mother with 6 children find a home, an elderly person with health coverage, a family find food and clothing and a patient better understand their medication and nutrition needs.

On this night, we recognized through the following awards an organization and individuals who were chosen by their peers who represent the value and commitment it takes to be an advocate, an educator and a support system for community members. We congratulate the awardees for this accomplishment and thank them for all they do to represent Community Work!

Organization Commitment: Comunidades Unidas
Rookie of the Year: Alexandria Taylor and Simi Poteki (Community Building Community/Kava Talks)
CHW of the Year: Tetea Wolfendin (Association of Utah Community Health)
Legacy Award: Ramona (Community Building Community)

Group Lecture Registration

We thank all who attended this event and all those who sponsored and supported the Section in our efforts to recognize and celebrate Community Health Work!

Sponsors / Donors:

Intermountain Health Care Community Foundation
Nonantzin Grupo Follorico De La Gente Latina
The University of Utah Health Plans
Workmen's Compensation Fund
Utah Public Health Association
Amayas Art
Comunidades Unidas
Kanani Pua Dance
HECSAM Photo and Video

New Leadership team:

We also welcomed our new Leadership Team that will take on the reigns of our past presidency Chair, Jeannette Vilallta, Secretary, Patricia Eisenman and Treasurer, Gigi Saveerda. Our Chair Elect, Karen Sime-Toutai will continue leadership as the new Chair and the following people were elected to her team:

Chair Elect: Alexandria Taylor
Treasurer: Tetea Wolfendin
Secretary: Shaina Lavatai

DAtes to Remember:

2017 CHW Section Monthly Meetings:
Dory Education Center, Intermountain Campus
5121 S Cottonwood Street

October 24th
November 28th
December 19th


Everyone with an interest in nutrition is invited to attend both of the following. CEUs are available for Registered Dietitians.

Dairy Council Event


We encourage you to attend the Dairy Council’s Breakfast & Briefing on November 8, shown to the left.

- When: Wed Nov 8, 8:00-10:00 am

- Where: Grand America Hotel 555 S Main, SLC

Cost is $10 and RSVP is required by Nov 3.

One credit hour of CEU is available at the annual Dairy Council Breakfast & Briefing to hear a national speaker about communication to millennials

This may apply to any program that communicates with different generations.


December January 

 ~ Save the Date for our Holiday Luncheon, moved to January because of our speaker’s schedule – Thursday January 4, 2018. More details to follow.

UPHA Professional Development Webinar

CPH Webinar

Utah One Health Symposium, November 17, 2017

One Health


Board MEMBER Spotlight: JODEE BAKER, MPHJoDee Baker

  1. Where do you currently work/go to school?  Utah Department of Health, Division of Disease Control and Prevention, Informatics Program

  2. Why did you choose to pursue public health as your profession? I fumbled into it actually.  I started working as a secretary/data entry person for the Sexually Transmitted Disease Program about two weeks after I returned from an LDS Mission.  I ended up falling in love with helping people and answering their questions, and just kept going to school to do that and I worked along the way.

  3. What is your favorite vacation spot? I love Disneyland and Hawaii.  I would love to visit Sweden sometime though, because that is where the majority of my ancestry is from.

  4. What time do you typically go to bed and get up in the morning? Great question!! I try to be in bed by 10:00 pm, but I have two little girls that struggle with bedtime.  They also get me up a lot earlier than I’d like on the weekend!  During the week, I’m usually up by 5:00 am because of my commute to work.

  5. If money weren’t an issue right now, what would you be doing? Going on a trip to Europe.  I’d love to go to Poland, Austria and Germany to see WWII sites.  And I’d love to travel to Sweden to see where my ancestors are from.  I’d take my kids to Disneyland regularly too!  Probably another thing is remodeling my small house into something bigger!

  6. What has been the most rewarding project you’ve worked on as a public health professional?  Oh I’ve had a lot of those.  Being a part of an outbreak investigation is always rewarding, because we are trying to prevent others from getting sick, but at the same time, helping those who are sick.  It’s always so rewarding to see our efforts pay off.

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

  8. What is the best thing you’ve done in your life? The best thing I’ve done in my life is have my two beautiful daughters.  It was really scary getting them here health wise for me, and my little one was in the NICU for 6 weeks, but they are the smartest, most talented, and most fun kids in the world.  They are six and three years old.

  9. What do you to do relax? I love to take naps!!  That hasn’t happened in a while though.  I do love to read when I get a chance, and if I’m super lucky, I’ll binge-watch some shows on Netflix!

  10. If you could give only one reason why someone should join UPHA, what would it be? Networking.  You get to meet people in all areas of public health, not just the little corner you work in. 

Student Spotlight: David Contreras, MPH/MHA University of Utah

David Contreras Photo
I am from Riverside, CA. Growing up, I spent a lot of time at the beach, mountains, Angel’s games, and Disneyland.

This is my first semester at the University of Utah, where I am pursuing a dual master’s degree in public health and healthcare administration.  My undergraduate studies were in healthcare administration and communications. The University of Utah appealed to me because of the global campus, small class sizes, and personalization of coursework to make my education unique. On campus, I am a member of Utah Public Health Association and the Student Advisory Committee. My dream job would be to work for the World Health Organization assisting in the development of healthcare access in developing countries.

A life-changing experience that fueled my passion for healthcare was volunteering in hospitals and orphanages in Romania for six months. Along with 11 other volunteers, we worked closely assessing the nutrition and developmental needs of children. Many children were there because of lack of health education or access to sufficient healthcare. Nothing makes me happier than serving people in a personal manner and watching them progress and become healthy.

In one of my undergraduate classes, I watched the documentary Escape Fire. It helped me realize the need for more integration of population health, as opposed to disease management, within health systems. Throughout my studies and career, I hope to find ways to make population health socially and financially successful both in the United States and within developing health systems.

Outside of school, I am involved in the arts. I spend my summers performing with various dance teams and choral groups. Throughout my undergrad, I earned a degree in Rhythmic Dance, studying the pedagogy, history, and kinesiology of tap, clogging, Irish, and other folk styles of dance. I currently sing with Salt Lake Vocal Artists and enjoy vocal jazz. I also love to ski and try new restaurants in the area.

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