Previewing Public Health

As North Dakota State’s Public Health Week approaches, Abby Gold, the vice chair of the public health department, gave a preview of what to expect.

This year’s Public Health Week is set to focus on health equity, which is different from health equality. When we talk about equality, it means everybody gets the same thing. “It’s like giving everyone a pair of shoes, but you’re a size 6 and I’m a size 10 and the shoes are a size 8; it only helps a sliver of the population,” Gold said.

The activities focus on what is relevant to students and include a women’s lecture about hepatitis within the female population, a film titled “From the Ashes” that looks at the coal industry and environmental health, Global Health Day and much more.

Global Health Day is set to have a roundtable discussion with local refugees to discuss their contributions in the community, and how they diversify the community.

On April 10, there will be an all-day event titled “Bridging the Gap” that focuses on health equity and social justice. The event aims to bring the community into a space and talk about systemic barriers and to exchange ideas on building a “sustainable global community that works to advance health equity” according to the “save the date” post card. “Bridging the Gap” will be free to attend and open to the public.

When speaking on the event, Gold said, “Power disruption — it’s all about that.”

According to Gold, when looking at health equity a few questions need to be asked: How do we define it? How do we think about it? And how do we build a system for it?

When thinking about health equity, some people’s minds may turn to universal health care. However, this doesn’t completely promote health equity. When the Affordable Care Act was put into motion, people failed to buy into the system, making it inefficient and unhelpful to the health care problems we are seeing, Gold said. The question now posed is, would a single payer system promote health equity any better?

Gold’s closing remark to NDSU students is to study public health, as it relates to everything we do.

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