Connecting the Voices of Public Health in Ohio

A Message from Our President

Angela DeJulius. MD, MPH

OPHA President

Recently, OPHA’s board met to outline our strategic priorities for the next few years.  I’m reminded that your volunteer board is a group of dedicated professionals whose passion for public health drives them to excellence, and I’m so grateful for their commitment.  With the multidisciplinary expertise of our members, OPHA is uniquely positioned to advocate for public health in Ohio.  We will continue to bring together partners from nonprofit, academic, government, and other agencies under the big umbrella of public health, to improve Ohio’s future.  Through our discussions, all agreed it’s essential that Ohioans understand the value of protecting public health.  We need to communicate loudly, clearly, and consistently about the work that we all do and the science behind it.  Another priority is to support and strengthen the existing workforce while nurturing the next generation of public health professionals.  In partnership with ODH, we will continue to develop and deliver programs to help enhance your knowledge, skills, and networks.

OPHA’s board identified three policy priorities while acknowledging that there are numerous issues where we can lend support.  Above all is our concern for health equity.  Persistent disparities between racially, geographically, economically, and otherwise marginalized population groups cost all of us, as opportunities are lost for health, education, work, and productivity.  This cannot be ignored!  OPHA will call attention to health disparities, the underlying conditions that perpetuate them, and efforts to resolve them, encouraging the use of our health equity policy assessment tool in policy development.

We will continue to focus on the health impacts of our environment and climate, as this summer has made clear:  extreme weather emergencies create acute health emergencies, and longer-term climate trends create adverse health trends.  Inevitably the least resilient, the young and old, and those already living in poverty lack the resources to rebuild their lives and suffer the worst health outcomes.  Locally, we will advocate improving the quality of Ohio’s environment where health and quality of life are impacted.

Finally, OPHA will focus on the spectrum of reproductive health, inseparable from maternal health and infant/child health.  Surely the health of a nation’s women and babies is a measure of our values!  Healthy infants don’t just happen - they are the product of preconception, prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care.  The recent closures of rural hospitals, in particular labor & delivery units, risk worsening our already dismal infant and maternal mortality rates.  Knowing that unplanned pregnancies are more likely to have adverse outcomes, access to sexual health education, contraception, and safe early abortion, must be assured.

Complex problems like these don’t have a single, simple solution.  At OPHA we believe in speaking up, asking questions, and advocating for progress.  Our strength lies in YOU, our members.  If you’re interested in getting more involved, please contact us at info@ohiopha.org.

Search for Journal editor underway. Interested? Details found HERE.

AngelaDeJulius

SAVE THE DATE

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH CONFERENCE
April 29 – May 1, 2024

You can confirm your hotel room at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center HERE using code 316667

Ohio Journal of Public Health: Spotlight on Current Issues

An Intersectional Approach to African American Women on Medicaid Receiving Prenatal Care

It’s the Small Things: An Intersectional Approach to African American Women on Medicaid Receiving Prenatal Care

by Na’Tasha M. Evans, Kamesha Spates, Danette Conklin, and Yu-Lin Hsu

When examining prenatal care utilization rates, African American women were more likely to receive inadequate prenatal care. Yet, research about African American women’s prenatal care experiences fails to account for how their experiences may vary by socioeconomic status and insurance type. The authors embarked on this study to provide African American women on Medicaid with the opportunity to speak to what they found to be meaningful during their interactions with their prenatal care provider using an intersectionality framework.
From their study, two overarching themes emerged about what these women considered meaningful when they talked to their prenatal care provider during pregnancy: (1) conversations around a patient’s prenatal care and (2) equipping the patient with knowledge will allow researchers the opportunity to create effective solutions, interventions, and policies that can be implemented to improve infant health outcomes and reduce the risk of infant mortality in this population. You can read the article HERE.

Prognosis Ohio

We are pleased to partner with Prognosis Ohio, a podcast focused on health policy issues in our state.  Click here to listen to a recent podcast “We Can’t Fail:  Dr. David Margolius Takes on Flavored Tobacco in Cleveland." In this podcast, Dr. Margolius, Director of Public Health for the City of Cleveland, talks with Podcast host Dan Skinner about the devastating consequences of smoking and the role of flavored tobacco, especially for communities of color.

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