NDSU Public Health Week will highlight the importance of community

Graphic by: NDSU Public Health Association

The week’s activities will include a seminar, yoga, bingo and a pop-up information booth

National Public Health Week, which is held by the American Public Health Association, is happening April 6-9. NDSU Public Health Association student president Amelia Metcalf spoke about the events that will be held this year at NDSU and the importance of learning about public health.

“This has been an unprecedented year for public health and just people in general,” Metcalf said when talking about what she wants people to take away from the events. “The first takeaway I hope is just the importance of public health and the sense of community that comes with it because we’ve really been struggling to connect with people and relate well.”

With the pandemic putting people in the world of public health, Metcalf talked about how important it is to learn about public health as she explained that it is everywhere including healthy food and preventative medicine saying “A lot of public health is prevention.” Metcalf added that public health is like population health as it is “trying to improve the health of the population.”

While public health has always been around and serving communities, Metcalf said that Covid-19 has shown how vital it is. “There’s been a lot more interest in incoming students in public health I think around the nation I heard so that’s promising because we need public health. In the long run, maybe better public health and better prevention would lead to less chronic conditions and a healthier society.”

Metcalf also talked about some of the misinformation that’s been spread about Covid-19 throughout the pandemic and how important transparency is when it comes to public health. “Even more important than people understanding pubic health is public health needs to effectively communicate these risks and issues to the public.”

Metcalf explained that there can be a lot of confusion when it comes to public health and especially with the pandemic. However, being transparent and honest can help. “Communication is probably more important than trying to educate the masses on public health.”

When it comes to the events, on April 6 a seminar will discuss maternal and child health and will feature Dr. Jaime Slaughter-Acey along with three other panelists. A group yoga session will be held on April 7 in the Wallman Wellness Center with the theme of strengthening communities. April 8 will be public health bingo with the theme of galvanizing climate justice with a mix of public and environmental health.

To finish the week, on April 9 there will be a pop-up booth in the Memorial Union with Covid-19 vaccine information. Metcalf said that a few students who have worked as contact tracers and in pharmacies doing research will also be present to provide information about the vaccines during this time.

Each event will be held in-person as well as on Zoom with the exception of Friday’s pop-up booth. More information can be found at NDSU Public Health Week activities scheduled for April 6 to 9 | Public Health | NDSU.

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