UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH) celebrated National Public Health Week April 3-9 by hosting events to promote healthy behaviors. The national theme this year, “Healthiest Nation 2030,” calls on individuals to ensure conditions — such as access to safe, healthy food — in which everyone has the opportunity to be healthy. Arkansas’ theme, “Healthiest Arkansas 2030,” aims to make Arkansas the healthiest state in the nation by 2030.
On April 3-4, the Arkansas Blood Institute held a campuswide blood drive in the College of Public Health. Those who donated received a “blood donor hero” t-shirt. Also April 3, the college hosted the movie, Living on One Dollar, as a part of a IPE event University wide. The movie aimed to reveal the lives of those in other countries who are poor. It follows the story of four young American friends who set out to live on just one dollar a day for eight weeks in rural Guatemala. They battle hunger, parasites and the realization of the differences that exist around the world in the way in which people live. Friends are made and life lessons are learned.
“As a public health student, I was able to see the whole picture and not just the situation defining the people living in the rural Guatemala town. To me, this movie shows that we can all learn compassion together and that as public health practitioners, we must strive to understand the people we are serving,” said Kailyn-Marie Bostic, first year Master of Public Health student. Alesia Ferguson, Ph.D., an associate professor, co-facilitated the question and answer discussion after the movie.
“There are some takeaways from this movie for our students. First, UAMS students observed the resilience of people living in poor communities like the one displayed in the movie and how they strive as a cohesive community to help one another. Second, the simple things of life must be appreciated. Third, any help we provide to such communities must be practical, suitable and sustainable in the long-term.,” said Ferguson. The college’s Student Council gave back to the community by providing, preparing and serving lunch at Our House shelter in Little Rock.
The college’s Office of Student Affairs held a career fair on campus featuring entities that are hiring health- related positions. Vendors included Centene Corporation, the Arkansas Department of Health, and the Arkansas Department of Human Services, the Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency, the Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Program and others.
April 6, the college welcomed four alumni for an Alumni Panel Discussion. Participants heard about their career paths since graduating and were able to ask questions. Panelists included Master of Public Health graduates Brian Delavan, a statistician for the federal government; Morgan Uchtman, an epidemiologist at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality; and Micheal Knox, assistant director of population health at the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement; and Doctor of Public Health candidate Amanda Philyaw Perez, a program associate in policy and education at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Public Policy Center.
Also, the UAMS Fitness Center offered a free week trial to any College of Public Health student, faculty or staff not already a member. The Student Council also began hosting a food drive that will last until April 14, and is selling college t-shirts and pullovers until May 1. All proceeds from both of these will benefit the UAMS 12th Street Health and Wellness Center.