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November 2017 E-NEWS

Table of Contents

Climate Change Focus at APHA Annual Meeting

Utah Public Health Conference Call for Abstracts!


Utah Immunization Special Interest Group Updates

Holiday Luncheon UPHA Nutrition Section


Board Spotlight: Karen Toutai


Student Spotlight: Lija Mammen, MBBS, MPH


Climate Change Focus at APHA Annual Meeting

The American Public Health Association hosted more than 12,000 public health professionals and partners in Atlanta for its Annual Meeting and Expo in early November. This year's theme Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health was particularly timely given recent natural disasters that have brought the effects of climate change close to home for many communities throughout the United States.

The meeting was kicked off with an engaging presentation by keynote speaker, Eriel Tchekwie Deranger of Indigenous Climate Action. Deranger is a member of the Thabasca Chipewyan First Nation of Northern Alberta, Canada. Northern Alberta is home to the largest industrial project on the planet, the Alberta Tar Sands. Her presentation spoke of the effects to the livelihoods and health of indigenous communities. For example, their use of the land has been significantly diminished by environmental pollutants which have led to food insecurity and health challenges such as obesity and diabetes. She advocates for the voice of indigenous people to be included in discussions around addressing climate change so that they can bring their creativity, knowledge and connection to the land to help develop sustainable solutions.

The Monday afternoon keynote speaker was former EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy. Despite recent changes in national policy around climate change, McCarthy remains optimistic about our nation?s ability to address climate change through local efforts. She talked of the need for public health professionals to continue speaking up about climate change - that it's real, and that man-made emissions are the cause. Prior to McCarthy's keynote address, APHA Executive Director, Georges Benjamin, announced the launch of the The Lancet Countdown, a new annual report to track the world's progress on climate change and the impact on human health. You can find the report at: www.lancetcountdown.org

The Annual Meeting wrapped up with a panel of woman activists whose powerful stories about fighting against climate change to protect the most vulnerable of communities, inspired participants.

You can see highlights from this year's APHA Annual Meeting on APHA TV, here:

Utah Public Health Conference Call for Abstracts!

The Utah Public Health Association announced the Call for Abstracts for the 2018 Annual Public Health Conference to be held April 11-13, 2018 at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek in downtown Salt Lake City. We are seeking innovative proposals for topics relating to all areas of public health.

Submission options:

* Oral Program / Research Presentation (30 or 60 minutes): Delivered during breakout sessions at the conference, oral presentations are intended to provide attendees a synopsis of a public health program, initiative, evaluation strategies, or other relevant research.

* Poster Session (pre-designated breakout times): Intended to provide a visual presentation of program or research findings by displaying graphs, photos, diagrams, and descriptive text.

All abstracts must be submitted online at: www. upha.org/conference/abstracts

The deadline to submit an abstract is Monday, January 22, 2018. We welcome your early submissions!

Utah Immunization Special Interest Group Updates

The Utah Immunization Special Interest Group (UISIG) is the newest addition to UPHA and is a coalition of public health professionals, health educators, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, community leaders and citizens committed to improving immunization rates in children, adolescents and adults to prevent vaccines preventable diseases in the State of Utah. We advocate for policies that increase immunization rates in Utah. We are looking to expand and sustain an effective and collaborative state-wide organization. We are working on coordinating immunization education, information, and awareness as well as promoting access to immunizations for all children, adolescents and adults in Utah.

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting CDC's PINK BOOK COURSE on March 8-9, 2018 at the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan, Utah. Continuing Education (CE) credits are available to a variety of healthcare professionals who attend the entire course and complete the required CE evaluation and post test online by April 9, 2018. Detailed information and instructions will be provided at the course.

We welcome all new members who are interested in immunization issues and happenings! To receive our newsletter, find out about UISIG meetings and local chapter meetings, please email Stephanie Hart at stephanie.hart@upha.org

More information can be found at upha.org/immunization.

Registration for the Pink Book Course is COMING SOON!!

Holiday Luncheon UPHA Nutrition Section

  (For current Section members plus others who choose to join just for the luncheon!)

Sponsored by the Utah Beef Council ~ Free CEUs for Registered Dietitians

Date: Thursday January 4, 2018
Time: 12-1:30 pm

Speaker: Jacob Schmidt, RD - topic to be announced

Free CEUs for Registered Dietitians

Place: Christopher's Prime Steak House
           134 W. Pierpont Ave (240 S.)
           Salt Lake City Utah 84101

Cost: Luncheon is $10 or FREE to those with paid up UPHA membership
         To renew your UPHA membership go to www.upha.org/membership.html

RSVP by Dec 10 to bhyatt@slco.org


Board MEMBER Spotlight: Karen ToutaiKarenToutai

Utah Community Health Worker Chair, UPHA CHW Professional Association, Pacific Island Violence Prevention Curriculum Development Team, #InspireUP, Community Fitness Instructor, Pacific Island Women Empowerment Facilitator

  1. Where do you currently work/go to school?  I am currently a stay at home mom and an entrepreneur.

  2. If money weren’t an issue right now, what would you be doing? If money wasn't an issue I would be sitting at the beach.

  3. What has been the most rewarding project you’ve worked on as a public health professional?  Oh Working on the Pacific Islander Domestic Violence curriculum.

  4. If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Oh man ... Popcorn! I don't think I can live on one food.

  5. What is the best thing you’ve done in your life? One of the best thing I've done in my life is finding my purpose while finding out who I am and what I am capable of doing!

  6. What do you to do relax? Movie night at home with junk food and my family.

  7. If you could give only one reason why someone should join UPHA, what would it be?  Step outside your comfort zone and do something that makes an impact on yourself and especially others.

Student Spotlight: Lija Mammen, MBBS, MPH

Lija MammenI was born in Kerala, India and raised by loving grandparents, aunts, and uncles for the first five years of my life. My parents immigrated to the USA shortly after my birth. I joined them in Ohio at the age of 6 and met my 4yr. old sister for the first time. I completed all my schooling and college in the Midwest.

On the advice of my physician-parents I returned to India to get a medical degree. Five years later, back in the USA, I was young, ambitious, ready to tackle the medical board exams and begin a residency in OBGyn.

However, marriage, two children, and just plain life redefined my priorities. Destiny led me to be a "stay-at-home-soccer-baller-dance-Mom" who volunteered excessively in my kids classrooms. No regrets.

Fast-forward to 2015, I enrolled into the University of Utah MPH program. Medicine was my first love, but Social and Preventive medicine is my passion now. Even as a med-student, I enjoyed reading about ayurvedic/homeopathic medicine and learned that food should be the only "medicine" we take. I believe real food (not packaged and processed), a little exercise, and compassion toward all fellow humans, go a long way in preventing disease at the population level.

In retrospect, the first Public Health issue to have a significant impact on me was the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It taught us so many lessons: How detrimental a fear of the unknown can be, how stigma can paralyze progress, and the importance of education as a cornerstone for prevention. My passion for STI prevention has led me to become a volunteer at the Utah AIDS Foundation where on-site testing, counseling, educating clients about prevention, and harm reduction practices are key.

Besides public health, I enjoy exercising, cooking/eating (especially Indian food), raising two lovely teenagers, traveling to India with my husband and reading good books. My new favorite book is Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander.

I have just completed my MPH course and an internship at the UDOH in the Division of Healthcare Associated Infections/Antibiotic Resistance (HAI/AR). I felt fulfilled and challenged in this capacity and thrilled that my medical background could help me be an asset to the work done here. Now, as a fresh MPH graduate and a humble recipient of the "Outstanding Student of the Year" award, I am ready to dive into a new career as a public health profession.

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