Plenary 3: Innovating Public Health Education
Amidst high-profile news stories, less attention is given to the many innovative and successful public health initiatives that have been implemented by health educators to build racial equity, improve access of underserved populations to critical healthcare and social services, and advance health policy. This panel presentation will introduce key innovative health programs around the United States, provide firsthand insight into the opportunities and challenges intrinsic to health education program development and leadership, and explore ways in which similar health and social initiatives can be successfully implemented in other communities. Panelists will describe use of text messaging and social media in the Hispanic population, community health worker empowerment, and grass root responses to infant mortality. Lessons learned and strategies will be provided for health educators.
•Characterize at least one facilitator and one barrier intrinsic to the planning of community-wide health and social programs designed to meet the needs of at-risk and underserved populations in a community.
•Synthesize elements of community health initiatives that can be translated to meet the needs of at-risk populations in other community settings.
Darcy Scharff, PhD (Moderator)
Professor, Director of Public Health Practice
Saint Louis University
Dr. Scharff has spent the majority of her academic public health career working with and in the community to help support their work in improving public health. She works with several local public health organizations to support them in organizational management and public health actions, including strategic planning, board development, grant reviews, assessment, planning, and evaluation. She directs the Office of Public Health Practice that assures that students and faculty have opportunities to work with and in the community on public health practice and practice-based research. She currently works with Generate Health, a non-profit organization with a goal of eliminating disparities in infant mortality, serving on committees and reviewing grants. In addition, she supports Nurses for Newborns, an agency that provides home visitation for pregnant and postpartum women, by evaluating their program and serving on the research advisory board. Finally, she is a co-developer with the St. Louis City and County health departments on a jointly formed academic health department that assures collaboration between the organizations in areas of research, policy, workforce development, and student training with the goal of improving the public health infrastructure.