Author: Jason Thompson

Strategies to Advance Health Equity: State and Local Health Departments’ Role in Improving Food Access among Immigrants
Vegetables Spilled Out of Brown Bag

Course Objective

  • Explain the rationale for expanding public health practice to promote health and equity by supporting immigrant access to healthy, affordable food
  • List the major public anti-hunger programs and summarize the eligibility rules that apply to different legal categories of immigrants
  • Describe how individual beliefs, organizational practices, and policies contribute to inequitable access to healthy food and public food benefits between immigrant and US-born populations
  • Explain at least two specific local or state Health Department initiatives designed to improve access to healthy food and food benefits among immigrant populations that could be adapted to the participant’s community
  • Explain how local health departments can leverage “upstream” strategies, including partnering with other agencies, social movements and community organizations, to protect and expand immigrant access to food benefits and services

Date: May 19, 2018

Nicholas Freudenberg
Distinguished Professor of Public Health
City University of New York School of Public Health

Emily Franzosa
Senior Researcher
City University of New York School of Public Health

Emilia Vignola
PhD Candidate
City University of New York School of Public Health

There are currently more than 40 million immigrants living in the US, contributing to our society as workers, taxpayers, caretakers, and neighbors. Many of these immigrants are more likely to be poor than US-born people because of cultural, language, and legal barriers that influence their living and working conditions and access to services. One consequence of this poverty is food insecurity, or not having enough healthy food, which has serious implications for health. As public health professionals, we work to prevent harm and reduce health inequities. When members of our communities struggle to access healthy food, they are at risk for health problems. But they are also limited in their ability to contribute meaningfully to society, which affects all of us. To meet our national health goals, local health departments must work to ensure that everyone in our communities has the opportunities and resources they need for good health – regardless of immigration status.

In this module, participants will:

  • Explore specific challenges immigrants may face in accessing healthy food at the individual, organizational, and policy levels
  • Consider real-world examples of how local health departments can partner with other agencies, community organizations, and activists to overcome these barriers and help immigrants access healthy, affordable food for themselves and their families
  • Strategize about how to adopt similar initiatives in their community and organization
The City Health Dashboard: A New Resource for Population Health Improvement
Illustration of City

Course Objective

  • Describe the role of data in improving population health in urban areas
  • Describe how data on health status and health determinants improve cross-sector collaboration and decision making around health
  • Explain how the City Health Dashboard can be improved to be a more effective tool for health improvement

Date: May 1, 2018

Shoshanna Levine, MPH, DrPH
Program Director
City Health Dashboard

Over two-thirds of the U.S. population lives in cities. There is currently a shift for city governments to work with multi-level stakeholders to use a population health approach to target social determinants of health and improve the overall quality and health of the population. Dr. Soshanna Levine discusses the importance of using data as a cross-sectional, collaborative health improvement approach. The Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center and the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at NYU partnered with national networks to create the City Health Dashboard to help cities understand, compare, and take action to improve the health of their municipalities. The tool uses data from federal, state, and local agencies to present 36 measures linked to the health status across five domains (health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, physical environment, health outcomes). The dashboard is a health improvement planning resource for 500 cities across the U.S. and will also provide evidence-based interventions and resources to city leadership, government, and stakeholders. Dr. Levine presents an overview of the dashboard and methods to engage local communities in data-driven health improvement activities.

Integrating Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Science to Address Substance Use Disorder
Young Girl

Course Objective

  • Explain what are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Describe the connection between substance use disorders and ACEs
  • Describe how ACEs science can be integrated with substance use disorder prevention and harm reduction approaches

Date: May 1, 2018

Daniel Sumrok, MD
Director of Addiction Science
University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Opioid overdose deaths have been increasing at an alarming rate among adults. New York State, like many other states, is experiencing an opioid epidemic. There are worrisome trends in other substance use. Among older adults, binge-drinking and alcohol use disorders seem to be on the rise. Alcohol use among boys and people in the higher income brackets in decreasing, though increasing among lower socioeconomic groups and girls. Marijuana use has remained steady among youth through 2015, but has increased dramatically among youth over 18 years old. The prevalence of smoking among adults reporting poor mental health is twice as high as those who do not report poor mental health.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are an underlying factor in drug misuse and overdoses, suicides, mental health disorders and chronic disease. Data collected by the 2016 NYS Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)[i] show that ACEs are common among New York adults. Six out of 10 adults (59.3%) reported having experienced at least one ACE. Yet, very few communities integrate addressing and responding to ACEs. Dr. Daniel Sumrok of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center explained how ACEs Science can be integrated to address substance use disorders.

Data-Based Decision-Making Using Data to Intervene for Maternal and Child Health – Part Two in a Series
Woman Staring at 3D Pie Graph on White Board

Course Objective

  • Identify sources of evidence-based interventions/promising practices.
  • Define and develop SMART objectives, for outcome evaluation.
  • Use progress and outcome measures in program monitoring and evaluation.

Date: April 10, 2018

Michael Medvesky
Public Health Information Group, New York State Department of Health

The purpose of this training is to inform public health professionals how to use data to shape needs assessments, develop public health programs, and provide a framework for program evaluation. In Part Two of this series, learners will take advantage of readily available data sources to explore interventions and programs to address public health issues in maternal and child health using Columbia County, NY as a case study.

Data-Based Decision-Making Using Data to Intervene for Maternal and Child Health – Part One in a Series
Woman Staring at 3D Pie Graph on White Board

Course Objective

  • Identify and locate sources of Maternal and Child Health data in New York State, at state, county, and sub-county levels.
  • Use descriptive epidemiology (person, place, and time) in needs assessment and program targeting.
  • Use data to identify high-risk populations in population for program targeting

Date: April 10, 2018

Michael Medvesky
Public Health Information Group, New York State Department of Health

The purpose of this training is to inform public health professionals how to use data to shape needs assessments, develop public health programs, and provide a framework for program evaluation. In Part One of this series, learners will take advantage of readily available data sources to begin planning and implementing a successful health program related to issues in maternal and child health using Columbia County, NY as a case study.

Addressing Unconscious Bias in our Language
Two Thought Bubbles on Blue Background

Course Objective

  • Evaluate your thoughts or behaviors for unconscious bias
  • Explain ways that language use can intentionally or unintentionally contribute to health disparities
  • Describe ways that your organization can work to examine, expand, and alter language regarding patients and clients to provide more equitable care and services

Date: April 3, 2018

Anne Marie Liebel, EdD
Founder and President
Health Communication Partners LLC

As health professionals, it is critical that we reflect and address unconscious bias in our language, especially when working with patient populations. Dr. Anne Marie Liebel discusses how uttering subtle microaggressions can have a cumulative negative effect on health and wellness. Dr. Liebel presents research on the linkages between microaggressions and health disparities. In particular, microaggressions from healthcare providers can negatively impact patient health related behaviors and utilization of health services. Thus, as we recognize our own microaggressions, Dr. Liebel provides individual and organizational strategies to examine, expand, and alter language to provide more equitable care and services.

#NYCHealthEquity – Advancing Racial and Social Justice
New York City

Course Objective

  • Describe the roles institutions have played in fostering, exacerbating and perpetuating racism and other forms of oppression
  • List the ways institutions can work with neighborhoods and communities to amplify their inherent power to heal together
  • Describe the role public health practitioners have in leveraging their power and privilege to embolden larger movements and coalitions seeking to name injustice and liberate oppressed groups

Date: February 20, 2018

Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH
Deputy Commissioner and Founding Director
Center for Health Equity at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)

For one to have a true commitment to health equity, it is critical to engage with the political, social, and historical context of structural racism within our society. The history of slavery and segregation is deeply embedded within public policies which has fostered neighborhood underdevelopment, increased incarceration rates, and health disparities among minority and ethnic populations. Dr. Aletha Maybank, Deputy Commissioner and Founding Director of the Center for Health Equity at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) discusses the work of the Center for Health Equity to decrease health disparities and create an equitable and thriving city for all. The DOHMH and Center for Health Equity use a racial justice lense to build organizational capacity to advance racial equity through data visualization, community engagement, neighborhood investment, and public policy. Dr. Maybank discusses a neighborhood place-based approach which leverages past public health practices by implementing evidence-based interventions to provide coordinated health promotion services, clinical services, and community resources to increase community access to goods and services and close coverage gaps. Dr. Maybank discusses the importance of working with sister agencies to advance the health equity agenda and emphasizes the importance of multi-sectoral partnerships to promote community change.

Hair as a Social Determinant of Health Among Black Adolescent Girls
African American Woman

Course Objective

  • School nurses will be able to identify and explain the cultural beliefs surrounding cultural hair practices.
  • Public Health Professionals will acquire the cultural competency to proactively deter childhood obesity among black girls.
  • Local Health Departments will understand the need to direct funding toward interventions and programs addressing the socio-cultural barrier of hair to physical activity of overweight and obese adolescents.

Date: November 28, 2017

Patricia O’Brien-Richardson, PhD, MS Ed
Assistant Professor
Rutgers University School of Public Health

Hair is perceived as a socio-cultural barrier to physical activity among a group that is disproportionately affected by obesity, overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Culturally relevant research and subsequent interventions and programs are needed to prevent urban black adolescent girls from becoming inactive, obese adults. In this webinar we will explore hair as a social determinant of health among black adolescent girls. Hair holds special meaning to women and girls of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, and has significant value to many women of African descent, and is often influenced by historical, social, and cultural factors.

Is Gun Violence a Public Health Issue?
Shadow of Someone Pointing a Gun

Course Objective

  • Describe and explain firearm violence as a major social and health problem
  • Describe how conceptual models (e.g. Haddon Matrix, social ecological model, etc.) are used to portray the multiple factors underlying violence
  • Identify factors that influence the likelihood and severity of violence

Date: November 15, 2017

Bernadette C. Hohl, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor
Rutgers School of Public Health

In 2016, the AMA adopted policy calling gun violence “a public health crisis” requiring a comprehensive public health response. In 2012 the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirmed and expanded 2 older policy statements on gun violence. But is gun violence a public health issue? This presentation will describe the issue of gun violence using a public health approach: that includes: defining the problem, identifying risk and protective factors, and evidence based interventions.

Engaging Communities in the Research Process to Enhance Outcomes and Sustainability: Practical Strategies for Researchers and Public Health Practitioners
Illustration of Group of People Moving

Course Objective

  • Name the different levels of community engagement that researchers can participate in.
  • Describe the importance of understanding and involving the communities you are researching.
  • Define cultural humility.

Date: November 7, 2017

Carly Hutchinson, PhD, MA
Researcher and Lecturer, Sociomedical Sciences
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a research method that equitably involves all community and academic partners in every step of designing and conducting research. CBPR allows community members to research a topic that is important to them and improves their health. This course provides practical strategies to help people engage in a more successful way with communities using CBPR. CBPR is successful because of the relevancy of a co-developed research project and greater community buy-in, both of which lead to better outcomes and sustainability.

Dr. Hutchinson describes the Community Engagement Continuum for the various ways in which researchers can involve communities in their research, and provides two case studies for how this has been done. She gives further tips on how to get started trying CBPR and makes a strong case for its value.

Region 2 Public Health Training Center