Connecting the Voices of Public Health in Ohio

A Message from Our President

Angela J. DeJulius, MD, MPH

OPHA President

As we head into 2023 – the fourth year since Covid-19 upended our lives - public health continues to be in jeopardy. In Ohio and other states, various legislation is pending that would erode the authority of local or state health departments to do their work. This is happening while the very real threat of climate change promises to bring us new challenges including worsening
natural disasters, emerging communicable diseases, and global food insecurity. Rather than feeling helpless in the face of these big issues, OPHA asks you, our members, to start small and act locally. Build partnerships and develop allies where you can. OPHA has resources, such as our Health Equity in All Policies analysis tool (see article, below) to help you get started.

It’s discouraging to encounter opposition to our work; it’s frustrating to feel misunderstood by our communities and lawmakers; it’s understandable that we are experiencing burnout. It can be overwhelming, but each of us can make a difference wherever we find a fit that matches our interests, our passion, and our skill set. One of OPHA’s priorities is to help develop the public health workforce by assisting students and young professionals to do just that – to find their fit in our very diverse field. We look to you, our members, to help us as we develop opportunities for mentoring relationships, internship or practicum projects, and discussion webinars. We know you have much to offer; please contact us at dmaywhoor@ohiopha.org if you’re interested in contributing to our student programs!

If your workplace has roles to fill that require more seasoned public health professionals, take a minute to check out OPHA’s Public Health Professionals Program.  The PHPS connects local health departments and other agencies with experienced, available individuals for short term or interim assignments, or even special projects. If you’d like to learn more about PHPS, or perhaps sign up as a contractor, please email us at arielle@ohiopha.org.

Finally… mark your calendars now for the 2023 Public Health Combined Conference, Celebrating Public Health: People and Purpose, which will be held April 24-26 at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Columbus. Watch this space for more details!

Vision Care as Public Health

In the first installment of a collaboration between Prognosis Ohio and the Ohio Journal of Public Health, health policy professor and host Dan Skinner talks with Dean VanNasdale and Andy Wapner about their Journal article examining the state of vision care services and access under Medicaid in Ohio.

In the article, Dr. VanNasdale, a professor of optometry at Ohio State University’s College of Optometry shares his perspective about eyecare being and underappreciated facet of public health and the importance of preventative care. He also shares insight into the challenge of an adequate health care to meet Ohio’s vision care needs.

Dr. Wapner, who leads the Center for Public Heath Practice and is a clinical professor at the College of Public Health discusses surveillance efforts to proactively collect vision-related data, noting that vision care requires a robust public health approach. Listen to the podcast here. Be sure to click on “Apple Podcasts” and “Like” to follow Prognosis Ohio and support programming about important public health issues!

OPHA News

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