July 2020 E-Newsletter
What an unprecedented year 2020 has been so far! This year has moved public health to the front of the stage, ready or not. Although we are in new territory we understand how to educate, assess, develop, adapt, comfort, lead, direct, evaluate, study and define. These skills allow us to handle whatever comes our way. As members of UPHA, we will continue to move forward during these unique times and focus on our mission to protect and improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status. This may look different than what we have done in the past and I know we are up for the challenge. My year as UPHA President is just beginning and I want to start with spreading a message of hope and gratitude. Thank you for all the work you are doing, whether it be on the front lines or within the walls of your own home. While the world is leaning on us, let us not forget to lean on each other. We are in this together and I'm confident that we will come out of this stronger both individually and as a profession. I can't wait to serve alongside each of you this year. - Patty Cross, UPHA President
New UPHA Board Members
New UPHA Board Members were announced at the June UPHA Business Meeting. Congratulations to the new board members and thank you to outgoing board members!
During this unprecedented threat to the public's health, UPHA stands behind Utah's public health professionals who work continuously to create conditions where all Utahns can be as healthy as possible. UPHA is committed to the health and safety of all communities and shares our concern for humanity at this time. Visit the COVID page on the UPHA website to find current information, news articles, resources, My Story, ways to serve, and tips for staying healthy.
Racism is an ongoing public health crisis that needs our attention now.
We strongly support the APHA’s statement on racism and public health. In Utah we have seen the direct impact that racism has on public health from police violence and brutality to the disproportionate toll COVID-19 has taken on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. It is critical that we support actions at all levels: from applying a lens of racial equity within UPHA and the Utah public health community to promoting policies and programs that advance health equity and justice. Together as public health professionals we must, as APHA Executive Director George Benjamin calls for, address racism as an ongoing public health crisis that needs our attention now! For more information and steps we can take to promote action and healing, we urge members to check out the APHA resources on racism and public health.
Collaborating with other public health organizations, UPHA’s Advocacy Unit voiced concerns to Governor Gary Herbert about Utah’s rapidly accelerating positive COVID-19 tests and hospital admissions. As an organization, UPHA asked for a smart, safe, and science based opening up of Utah’s economy, focusing on 4 main public health priorities. Learn more about our effort HERE. In addition, members of the UPHA Advocacy Unit drafted a letter emphasizing concerns about the proposed budget reductions to public health and human services programs, asking for reconsideration where there was a greater impact on the most vulnerable and underserved in our community. The letter was well received, as policy makers dipped into the rainy day fund to minimize the cuts to these services.
The UPHA Advocacy Unit invites you to join our monthly meetings to plan advocacy events, trainings, and determine legislative priorities. If you would like to be influential in the direction UPHA takes around policy priorities for the year, feel free to join! UPHA Policy Committee Meetings are being held virtually on the 4th Wednesday of each month from 12:00pm - 1:00pm. You can join us via google meet/hangout.
Click HERE to review meeting agendas, minutes, and other planning documents for the 2019-2020 UPHA Policy Unit activities. Reach out to Christy Cushing, Carrie Butler, or Jessie Mandle for more details.