STOP. GUN. VIOLENCE.

Our mission is to be the inclusive voice for Public Health, to proactively advocate for policies that reduce health disparities and empower all people to achieve their optimal health, and to advance the practice of public health in Ohio.

A Message from our President

Angela J. DeJulius, MD, MPH

OPHA President

AngelaDeJulius

It’s an exciting time to be assuming the presidency of OPHA. Coming from the intersection of primary care, local public health, and higher education, I see the lasting impact of covid-19 on the public and on YOU, the  workforce.

Now more than ever, OPHA needs to speak with strength on the issues affecting the health of Ohioans. We are uniquely positioned to do this, to rise above interdisciplinary differences and focus on the core of an issue. We never know what’s around the corner, but one thing is certain: whether addressing covid-19, infant mortality, lead poisoning, gun violence, vector control, oral health, climate impacts, or something we haven’t even named yet, health equity underlies our collective mission in public health. This is what unites us.

OPHA can indeed be The Voice of Public Health in Ohio. To do this we need you – your expertise, engagement, and energy! As we move forward with restructuring our leadership board, I hope to see both new and familiar faces around the table, or on the screen. Get involved on our board or on a committee. Join us in conference planning, legislative advocacy, or mentoring young professionals. Explore the Ohio Journal of Public Health for editing or publishing opportunities. This is NOT the time to be shy!  Perhaps we’ll look back on the summer of 2022 as the time when covid-19 became endemic, and when the terms “health equity” and “social determinants” entered the mainstream vocabulary. Whatever this year means to you, I hope that OPHA will continue to be an important partner in your work. Our strength lies with you, our members.

I extend my sincere thanks to Tunu Kinebrew, who just completed her term as president, and will continue as a member of our leadership team, and to Alex Jones, who served three years as a member of OPHA’s executive board. Thank you for your leadership!

Using Health Equity Assessments to Make the Most of Federal Funds

OPHA, along with our partners in the Health Equity Network Ohio, sponsored a webinar
recently to share information about how local officials can use the Health Equity Assessment Tool to help ensure that the transformational ARPA dollars are used to not only improve the health and well-being of our communities but to address the disproportionate toll Covid-19  has taken on marginalized communities.

OPHA President Angela DeJulius discussed the importance of the Health Equity Assessment Tool and Board Member Carla Hicks led us through an example of the tool at work.  Also featured was a tool developed by the Ohio Poverty Law Center that tracks in real-time how ARPA dollars have been spent in Ohio.  You can watch the webinar (it starts at about 01:30) here. The posted chat messages provide links to many useful resources.

The places we live, learn, work and play affect our health and yet they are far too often over looked. This is why considering health and equity in all policies, at every level, is so important. Unfortunately, Ohio consistently falls in the bottom quartile in most national health rankings and this trend continues despite efforts to improve health status. It is imperative to look at the inequitable environmental and socioeconomic factors that may contribute to Ohio’s poor health outcomes.

The Health and Equity in All Policies (HEiAP) initiative provides state and local officials with an opportunity to apply a health and equity lens at the early and conceptual stages of policy development. This assessment tool is intended to inform policymakers of any potential negative health and equity impacts, prior to making any final decisions, and is designed to complement existing legislative and administrative processes.

Read the blog post by our partner, the Network For Public Health Law, here.

OPHA Updating Climate Report

Ohio Public Health Resiliency Coalition is in the process of updating the 2017 report on public health impacts of climate change and climate-related weather events in Ohio communities. Potential public health-related impacts associated with climate change include: extreme weather events; decline in air quality; increased production of pollens; heat stroke and heat-related illnesses; altered environmental … Continue reading

ClimateResilienceInOhio

Ohio Journal of Public Health

The recent edition of the The Ohio Journal of Public Health is filled with interesting research briefs and articles.  Topics include The High Cost of Opiods in Pregnancy, Effects of Regional Income, Race, and Educational Level on Incidence of Diabetes and Heat Disease in Ohio, and Health Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minority Adults in Ohio, to name just a few. Check out the publication here.

OJPHjournal

Continuing our Work: Dental Health Access

The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that our healthcare system is not equitable, including access to oral health care and dental services. Dental providers are not distributed equitably across all population groups and geographic areas. Persons of color are underrepresented among dental providers, creating issues of trust for those seeking care. Those living in rural communities often travel long distances to find a dentist. Language and other cultural barriers exist for a growing number of immigrants… Continue reading