All posts by Jenny Lin

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!

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

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

OPHA Announces 2018 Award Winners

We are pleased to announce this year’s OPHA Award Winners!  The awards will be presented at the upcoming Celebrate Public Health Awards Dinner on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at J Liu Restaurant, 6880 N. High Street in Worthington.  The dinner coincides with the 2018 Ohio Public Health Combined Conference.   Reservations to attend can be made on the OPHA website. Continue reading OPHA Announces 2018 Award Winners

Reports Highlights Value of CHWs in Healthcare Teams

Increasing the integration of Community Health Workers (CHWs) among Ohio’s health care teams is a key recommendation of a report that has become a cornerstone for Ohio’s work to increase utilization CHWs. The Integrating Community Health Workers in Ohio’s Health Care Teams report released in 2016 provides a picture of where community health workers are, how they are used, trained and paid for in Ohio.  Continue reading Reports Highlights Value of CHWs in Healthcare Teams

President’s Message March 2018

As OPHA president, I have the privilege of representing the shared goals of our members, and the challenge of speaking for our diverse and dedicated public health workforce of academics, students, nurses, health educators, administrators, and a wide variety of other public health professionals and clinicians.

It is impossible for one person, or even a board, to be the inclusive voice for Public Health and to ensure the optimal health of all Ohioans. It requires that we are all active members of the Association. Each of us can contribute by providing leadership on issues affecting the public’s health, advocating for public policies that protect and improve the health of all Ohioans, strengthening the public health system, and advancing the practice of public health in Ohio.

Make yourself heard, call your legislators, speak up against social injustice and promote health equity. Contribute to addressing the social determinants of health by becoming active in local zoning, planning, education, housing, workforce development, and other non-traditional public health issues to make sure that policy decisions are viewed through a public health lens.

As an association, we have a seat at the table with ODH leadership, and a voice in the legislature, but as individuals we have the power of hundreds of voices who can advocate for public health at the local, state, and national level. Make yourself heard, because You are Public Health!

–Joe Ebel