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.

Calling All Ohio Students! Public Health Poster and Oral Presentation Contest! Prizes Awarded!

The Ohio Public Health Association, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health, Association of Ohio Health Commissioners, Ohio Association of Boards of Health, Ohio Environmental Health Association, and Ohio Society for Public Health Education, is seeking student abstracts for the 2024 Ohio Public Health ConferenceThe contest will be held on April 30, 2024, at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center, Lewis Center, Ohio. This is an opportunity for students – graduates and undergraduates - to showcase their research and/or term projects (which can include, for example, program development/evaluation, primary and secondary assessments, exploration of health equity, and process improvement) related to the practice of public health in Ohio.  This opportunity is open to students in ALL majors and professional schools who can connect their work to the practice of public health in Ohio.  Prizes will be awarded. This is also a great opportunity for students to network with public health professionals across the state!  Students can apply for reimbursement of travel expenses.  You can find the abstract guidelines here.

Ohio Journal of Public Health: Spotlight on Current Issues

Three,Amoebas,On,Abstract,Dark,Blue,Background.,3d,Render

Bridging the Gaps in Women's Primary Care for Those Treated at a Residential Drug Treatment Facility in Southwest Ohio

Patients with substance use disorders (SUD) have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and limited utility of preventive and outpatient primary care. Women with SUD are a particularly vulnerable population requiring consistent primary and reproductive health care.

This study evaluated the need for providing women’s primary health care to patients in a residential SUD treatment facility in rural southwest Ohio.  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.

OPHA News

OPHA Book Club

OPHA launched its Book Club with a discussion of Merchants of Doubt, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. Plans are ...
Read More

All of Us Research Program

Data Shows the Power to Social Support to Prevent Depression.  In a new study, researchers looked at specific types ...
Read More

Governor DeWine Vetoes Gender-affirming Care Ban

OPHA thanked Governor DeWine for his action on this legislation, noting that gender-affirming care is critically important to the ...
Read More