The first week of April is annually National Public Health Week (NPHW), and The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Public Health students celebrated with festivities for students on the Hattiesburg campus all week long.
USM was part of a state-wide coalition to plan and coordinate activities across the state in celebration of National Public Health Week, sponsored by American Public Health Association (APHA). The national movement aimed to celebrate prevention, advocate for healthy and fair policies, share strategies for successful partnerships and champion the role of a strong public health system.
“An activity like this serves two purposes,” according to Dobson, an instructor in the Department of Public Health. “It brings awareness to NPHW and reaches the campus with health messages, and it also helps students new to the major of public health tangibly understand what public health is all about.”
Students in Dobson’s Introduction to Public Health course participated in NPHW by planning and implementing student-organized activities and education on campus each day of the week. The events ranged from health education on sexuality, nutrition, and alcohol, to stress management techniques.
Jessica Portis, a senior minoring in public health, found the opportunity to educate her peers about their health an exciting one. A first time participator in NPHW, Portis said, “to actually get out among your peers is really motivating, and to see the reaction of others when they learn something new is awesome.”
For more information about the Department of Public Health in The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Health, visit www.usm.edu/ph.