All posts by Jenny Lin

Call to Action on Gun Violence

Urgent Call to Action!

The Ohio Public Health Association expresses extreme sadness and joins in the national mourning of the senseless loss of life during the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and in our own community of Dayton, Ohio.  We offer our deepest sympathies to the victims and families and our sincere gratitude goes out to those first responders who displayed acts of remarkable selflessness and bravery.     

Continue reading Call to Action on Gun Violence

President’s Message July 2019

It is an honor for me to serve as president of the Ohio Public Health Association.  I enter the position at a time when our organization is steadily moving toward fulfilling its mission of being the Inclusive Voice of Public Health in Ohio.  I sincerely thank our immediate past president, Natalie DiPietro Mager, for her focused leadership in guiding our association through a period of transition and setting us on the right course. It is now my charge to help find new solutions to some of the old, yet persistent, public health challenges. 

I intend to set the following three priorities as we move forward in this journey:   

Improve the Fiscal Health of OPHA – Our organization has done quite well furthering public health through the kindness of donors, the volunteer efforts of committed public health professionals, and through the creative and careful use of our limited resources.  However, if we want to continue to lead on the more significant public issues, we will need to build a fiscal infrastructure capable of sustaining our efforts.    

In this process, I pledge to work with OPHA’s Executive Director, David Maywhoor, to seek out and establish funding partnerships that are mutually beneficial. For example, OPHA currently has a promising funding source — the Public Health Professional Services program.  The PHPS program benefits our partners by providing a pool of qualified public health professionals to fill their employment needs, and OPHA benefits through the administrative fee it charges for the services.  

The PHPS may be one of the best kept secrets in state, and now we have a great opportunity to further promote and expand the program.  Additionally, OPHA could and should establish more organic partnerships to benefit public health, including reaching out to public and private organizations concerned with climate change and the environment. I believe these opportunities are boundless, and we simply need to be more deliberate in our efforts to expand and grow the organization.  

Continue Our Statewide Leadership in Health and Equity in All Policies – Through the work of our Health and Equity in All Policies legislative initiative, OPHA is now seen as the statewide leader in addressing the many social and geographical factors that influence health.  This is a mantle we all can be proud of.  I believe we only have scratched the surface on what can be achieved in this area.   Active engagement and collaboration is key, and we must continue to build a coalition of interested stakeholders prepared to assist in the sustained progress of this initiative.   

During the next year, I would like to see more formal and enthusiastic engagement of the entire OPHA membership through education, communication, and training. This will increase buy-in at all levels, and allow each of us to become more effective public health advocates.      

Elevate the Profile of OPHA – Through the dedicated and active work of the various OPHA Sections and Committees, we are well on our way to becoming a respected and recognized force in the field of public health in Ohio.  By encouraging greater internal coordination and interaction, we can continue to build our reputation as a trusted and expert resource.  I intend to focus on ways to lift the profile of OPHA statewide, so that we always are invited to the table when important public health issues are discussed.   

I look forward to the many opportunities that lie before us.  Together as we implement elements of our strategic plan, and set attainable goals and objectives, we will move ever closer to realizing our vision: A healthy Ohio, where all communities are thriving, and all people have access to the care, information, and resources they need to be healthy.”

I invite each of you to actively engage in these efforts and share your ideas. Please feel free to contact me any time at jennings.robertl@gmail.com

Sincerely,

Robert Jennings
President
Ohio Public Health Association

First Measles Case Reported in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has confirmed the state’s first measles case of 2019. ODH reported the young adult from Stark County recently traveled to a state with confirmed measles cases. This is the state’s first measles case since 2017. Read the full press release here, and general information on measles from the CDC here.

Share Your Thoughts on Medicaid

UHCAN Ohio is seeking comments regarding changes to Medicaid proposed by the Ohio Department of Medicaid. According to UHCAN, the Ohio Department of Medicaid is going to change the way that the health plans must cover Medicaid health care through new contracts with insurance companies to offer Medicaid managed care plans.  

UHCAN Ohio must submit all comments to the Ohio Department of Medicaid by July 30, 2019.  Use their survey to provide comments.  Complete either the four minute version or the twelve minute version of the survey, you choose at the beginning of the survey.

Latest OJPH Journal Issue is Live

The second issue of the Ohio Journal of Public Health (OJPH) has been published. This issue includes a research article and one brief focusing on stress, depression, and mental health needs of incarcerated adolescents and adults.

According to Editor in Chief Amy Ferketich, PhD in her welcome message: “OJPH features articles on public health education, practice, and research occurring in Ohio. In this issue, you will read an Op-Ed about politics and public health, four research articles, three research briefs, and our first public health practice article.”

Please circulate the link to the issue in your networks. https://ohiopha.org/ojph/ojph-june-2019/

Superheroes are Real! A Public Health Story

Following is the first in what we hope will be a series of stories from members:
My name is Dusty Huff and I have been at Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County since 1997, first as a registered nurse and now as a family nurse practitioner.  Over the past 21 years, public health nursing has etched its place firmly in my heart and I love providing care to the community that I call home.  There have also been many patients that have made a lasting impression on my heart and mind, so I decided to share this story. 

Several years ago I was working in the immunization clinic and was called to help a coworker with a child that was less than thrilled to be there.  When I walked into the room there was a small boy hiding behind the door with tears silently streaming down his face and splashing onto the floor.  As I tried to coax him out of the corner, I noticed that he had something written in ink on his red t-shirt.  When I asked him what it said, he repeatedly said “I don’t know” and just shook his head while looking at the floor.  The adult that was with him that day told us he had written Spiderman on his t-shirt because there was going to be a Halloween parade at his school later that week and he did not have a costume.  Long after this child had left, I couldn’t shake the picture of sadness in his eyes and I decided to ask the registration staff if they happened to catch the name of the school he attended.  As luck would have it, one of them knew!  After calling the school to ask if they would deliver a costume to the child if it was brought to the school the hunt was on for a Spiderman costume.  Armed with money that our staff had collected, I went to several stores unable to find a costume.  I did however find a Batman costume, which I purchased and delivered to the office the next morning.  I never told them where I was from, just who the costume was to be given to.

 A couple of weeks later, a thank you note arrived from the boy’s teacher explaining how much it meant to him and that he marched proudly in the parade as Batman.  She went on to say that she had been his teacher for 3 years and this was the first time he had a costume.  Tucked inside the note was a polaroid picture of a boy dressed as a superhero, arms raised triumphantly in the air looking like he could conquer the world.  My hope for this child is that he feels valuable, he knows that people care about him, and maybe one day he will have the opportunity to pay it forward.  I still have his picture and I look at it from time to time when I need a reminder that good trumps evil and that superheroes really do exist!

Climate Resilience Resource for Local Health Departments Released

The Ohio Public Health Resiliency Coalition formed by OPHA has released a resource for addressing the public health impacts of climate change. The document looks the potential adverse outcomes that Ohio communities may face and suggests adaptations public health professionals can make.  It was released during the 2018 Public Health Combined Conference. The full release follows.

Continue reading Climate Resilience Resource for Local Health Departments Released

President’s Message: New Epi Section

Happy New Year!  

OPHA is excited about the many opportunities ahead in the new year.  One such opportunity is the expansion of our association to include an Epidemiology Section, which was approved at the December Governing Council meeting.  I am grateful to the OPHA members who provided their support to create the new Section, with special thanks to Ross Kauffman for spearheading the effort and serving as the inaugural chair.  This new section is open to students and professionals alike.  Any OPHA member who is interested to join the Epidemiology Section can do so by updating the member profile on the OPHA website (as a reminder, there is no limit to the number of Sections that a member can join!).  In addition, we welcome new members to OPHA and the Section.  Please help us to spread the word across Ohio about this new and valuable resource for those who work, study, or are interested in epidemiology!
In 2019, OPHA will continue to focus on our priorities including health and equity in all policies (HEiAP) and climate resiliency, among others.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you would like to volunteer for these or any of our other efforts or to share any ideas or suggestions you have for OPHA in the new year.

Warmest wishes for your professional and personal well-being in 2019 and beyond,

Natalie 
n-dipietro@onu.edu

President’s Message: Support HEiAP Legislation

I’m writing to raise awareness of the Ohio Public Health Association’s Health and Equity in All Policies Legislative Initiative.

Senate Bill 302 (Tavares), the Health and Equity in All Policies (HEiAP) Initiative, seeks to create a standardized, systematic review process for determining potential impact of proposed legislation on the health of Ohioans. The bill calls for a health and equity impact analysis at the early stages of policy development and is meant to inform Ohio lawmakers of any potential negative health and equity consequences.

The analysis would additionally help lawmakers identify those populations most susceptible to unfavorable health outcomes from any proposed legislation. Further, the review would allow legislators to consider how proposed bills would impact the population’s health through other health influences such as water and air quality, access to public transportation, social services, food security, education and good jobs.

We sincerely believe this legislation could be one of the most important public health policies to have been considered in Ohio in many years. And, if enacted, this legislation could be a significant factor in turning around both our poor health rankings and the inequities that exist among our fellow citizens. We will be reaching out to you for advocacy efforts on this initiative. In the meantime, for more information, please see the following link: https://ohiopha.org/about-opha/sections-and-subjects/heiap/ and please reach out to me if you would like to become more actively involved in this initiative.

Thanks for your continued efforts in public health!

Natalie DiPietro Mager
OPHA President
n-dipietro@onu.edu