We are Public Health Newsletter | Nov. 20, 2019
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We are Public Health Newsletter | Nov. 20, 2019
Dean's Message:  
Bernadette Boden-Albala, MPH, DrPH  
Director and Founding Dean of the Program in Public Health  
One of the core values of the discipline of public health and certainly within the UCI Program in Public Health is teamwork. Successful teamwork is about respect, accountability, appreciation, empathy, integrity, and excellence. These are just some of the principles we adhere to within our program and within the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences. We are constantly asking our students to work in groups on a diverse array of papers and projects. Collaboration is how we get things done in public health, and building strong and trusting relationships is the only way we can initiate systemic transformation at the population level. Teamwork is going to be integral to our transition from a program to a School of Population and Public Health. Two weeks ago, a number of us from PPH attended the ultimate gathering for public health collaboration, the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA—the largest international gathering of our field. It is always interesting to meet with colleagues, learn about emerging areas of public health, and get a sense for how the landscape of our work is changing. Although a variety of smaller, core-focused meetings held throughout the year are productive, APHA remains the public health meeting, where the greatest minds in our discipline come together to share ideas about important topics that influence advocacy and policy and engage in real discussions about how our work can impact health and well-being at the micro and macro levels. It is an invaluable networking opportunity that enables students and faculty at all career stages to identify discipline experts, nurture existing relationships, and build new ones.
Along with many of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni, I was extremely happy to represent the Program in Public Health at APHA, and I’d like to highlight some of our faculty and student achievements. We were very pleased to bring four undergraduates, all honors students, to provide them with a tangible introduction to the breadth and depth of the profession. We had a number of graduate students, alumni, and faculty members whose work was represented at the meeting. We also hosted fun breakfast and dinner networking celebrations that were well-attended by faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Anthony Espinoza
(Thesis: perceptions surrounding PrEP use by UCI students; Mentor: Dr. Ted Gideonse)
Jesus Chavez
(Thesis: factors influencing dietary behaviors among Latino college students; Mentor: Dr. Alana LeBron)
Robin Alla
(Thesis: connection between mental wellness and college students’ nutritional choices; Mentor: Dr. Zuzana Bic)
Jacobus Kos
(Thesis: evaluation of patient travel from their place of residence to the UCI Medical Center Emergency Department; Mentor: Dr. Tim Bruckner)

Alana LeBrón
Identity policing: a Goliath determinant of health and human rights inequities (oral)
Brittany Morey
How visa type shapes pre-migration health for Filipino migrants (oral)
Sora Park Tanjasiri
Factors associated with dual use of combustible and electronic cigarette among Pacific Islander smokers (poster); Addressing disparities in colorectal cancer screening among south Asians in the United States (poster)
Bernadette Boden-Albala
Adverse environmental health outcomes in American Indian and Alaska Natives: a scoping review of epidemiological studies (poster); ‘So I tell them not to laugh at me and they feel bad’: a mixed methods study of coping and stigma resistance among women with obstetric fistula in Ghana (poster)

Maribel Cervantes-Ortega
Health related social support as important mechanism for driving stress reduction in sample of high risk Latina mother-adult daughter dyads (oral); More similar or more different? A look into mental and physical health differences across subgroups of the Latinx community (poster)
Ngozi Nwosisi
Mapping psychological well-being among cigarette smokers and non-smokers in the U.S. (poster); Trust and communication among immigrants related to colon cancer screening (poster); Relevance of shared cultural understanding with healthcare providers: an in-depth examination by race and gender (poster)
Preethi Selvan
An environmental scan of human papillomavirus vaccination in the greater Philadelphia area (oral)
Kameko Washburn
Communicating about diabetes prevention and control (session moderator); Behavioral science/health education oral session (session moderator)

APHA is an invaluable opportunity for us to showcase the incredible work we are doing, especially as we make the transition to a School of Population and Public Health. My challenge to you is to help us do everything we can to get our name and our brand out there so that our students, faculty, staff, and program get well-deserved recognition for our major contributions to the field. Attendance at this meeting enables others to see the incredible research we’re doing and the unmatched training programs we offer. It’s time for the world to get to know and see us in a bigger way than ever before. I look forward to seeing all of you at the APHA meeting next year in San Francisco, much closer to home.

Faculty Focus:  
Theodore K Gideonse  
Assistant Professor, Program in Public Health,
Director of the Undergraduate Practicum
Research Focus: Substance use and abuse, HIV/AIDS, public health discourses, public health ethics, medical and psychological anthropology  
What roles do you hold at PPH?
I am an Assistant Professor or Teaching in the Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention, and I am the Director of the Undergraduate Practicum in the Program in Public Health. I am also the Program in Public Health's representative to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health, which has led me to start organizing a diversity committee for the program (and eventually the school.)
Why do you choose to work in public health?
I did my PhD in Anthropology, and my fieldwork was focused on HIV-positive gay and bisexual meth users in San Diego. I found that they tended to believe the stigmatizing things said about and to them by less enlightened public health workers and healthcare providers. This made me interested in how those people are educated. It turns out, most healthcare professionals are not taught to think much about the cultural and structural influences on health behavior and healthcare delivery. And it's very rare that they are taught about how the language they use influences these things. So, I set out to find a way to teach those things to future health professionals.
What are the most rewarding parts of your work? The most challenging?
I love watching students make connections -- to see them figure out how the world works. Their epiphanies are thrilling to me. The worst definitely is watching students struggle to have those experiences because of the barriers put in front of them by, well, capitalism. The cost of UCI, the cost of living in California, the physical and emotional cost of working a full-time job while taking a full load of classes and caring for multiple family members -- it's often too much for many students to handle, and it's frustrating that I can only do so much to help.
What do you think about the recent resurgence in meth use in Southern California?
There hasn't been a major anti-meth public health effort in California for ten years, so it was bound to happen. We made it more difficult for people to cook their own and made trafficking a worse criminal offense, but the Mexican cartels just made more and smuggled it in. The underlying reasons for using it remain -- poverty, disaffection, and so on.
Program Focus:  
HJA (Health and Justice Advocates at UCI)  
Health and Justice Advocates at UCI (HJA) is a student organization supported by the UCI Program in Public Health. We are a non-partisan organization that began in fall 2016 with the goal of fostering greater civic advocacy among students to affect health-related public policy. We are especially interested in the social and structural determinants of health, including climate change, immigration policy, and discrimination. Much of our work has focused on engaging students around national and local elections.
This year, HJA is being led by public health PhD students Theresa Duong, Margaret Whitley and Megan Key, and public health undergrad Sarah Wang.
What do we do: We meet regularly to discuss policy issues, share information about ways to get involved, and connect with like-minded organizations on campus. This month we met with the UC I Decide commissioner to get trained in registering others to vote, discuss barriers to voting and census completion among students, and brainstorm ways that our organization can get involved.
In previous years we have:
— Organized "Coffee with the Candidates" prior to the 2018 primary election, where four District 45 congressional hopefuls (including our current Representative, Katie Porter) spoke to UCI students, faculty and staff about their stances on health-related policies
— Invited distinguished speakers from on and off campus to speak on issues of health and justice, such as a panel in spring 2019 where faculty from Pediatrics, Law and Public Health talked about why students from across campus need to engage in civic advocacy
— Distributed a non-partisan voting guide to encourage voting among public health students
— Engaged with leaders from the City of Irvine about sustainability policies
How you can get involved: HJA is actively recruiting undergraduate, Masters and PhD students from all departments. Being involved in this organization is an excellent way to connect with students and faculty, work on issues you care about, gain leadership skills, and build your resume/CV.
To find out about our next meeting or learn how to get involved, contact us via email at healthandjustice.UCI@gmail.com or @HJAUCI on Instagram and Facebook.
Student Focus:  
Spotlight: Hector Garcia  
4th Year Public Health Sciences Major in the Public Health Honors Program  
Career Goals: Public Health is my passion. My goal is to attend graduate school for public health and receive an MPH in Epidemiology or Environmental Health Sciences. Currently I am doing independent research related to Flu Vaccinations under the guidance of Dr. Parker as part of the Public Health Honors Program. I would like to use the experience gained in this program to hopefully conduct my own independent research in the future as a graduate student.
Staff Focus: Alumni Relations  
Meredith D. Kwok
Assistant Director of Constituent Relations
Program in Public Health
Meredith Kwok joined UCI Advancement as the Assistant Director of Constituent Relations for the Program in Public Health in early 2017. A Connecticut native, Meredith graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY with a BA in Communication and Media Studies, and Psychology – and still makes a point to visit her alma mater when on the east coast! With a background in non-profit event planning, Meredith has enjoyed building the Public Health alumni program and re-connecting alumni to UCI through networking events, personal visits, volunteer opportunities, student mentorship and social media. She finds inspiration in hearing the stories of success and diverse passions of our 4,000+ alumni population. Her own passions outside of UCI include precious time with friends and family, NYC, the coast of Maine, and a good book.
Recent News  
UCI’s Oladele Ogunseitan joins executive team of USAID-funded global health project
UC Presidential Chair Oladele "Dele" Ogunseitan, hailed for his international research achievements is part of an $85 million effort to detect and respond to the threat of infectious diseases on a global scale. He joins the executive team of the One Health Workforce – Next Generation project, which is based at UC Davis’ One Health Institute and supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The project provides multidisciplinary training for health workers to prevent public health crises – such as pandemic influenzas or the spread of incurable diseases – by recognizing the interconnection among people, animals, plants and their shared surroundings.
NPR Quotes Public Health's Andrew Noymer
Article: Polio Is Making A Comeback
Andrew Noymer, PhD, an associate professor of public health at the University of California Irvine says the global polio eradication effort has made incredible progress over the last three decades but now it's reached a difficult moment. He compares the current efforts to vaccinate every child against polio to being stuck on a treadmill.
Publication: Superfund Research Program - Modeling Approaches Estimate Exposure and Simulate Impacts on Health
Researchers developed and applied novel statistical models to cost-effectively predict chemical exposures and their associated harm to human health in large populations. These statistically powerful approaches can address the challenges of measuring exposures for large populations and quantifying the health benefits of exposure reduction. Professor Veronica Vieira acted as senior author in the study.
Publication: UCI Study on Vets Grief Highlights Overlooked PTSD Connection
"While there has been abundant research quantifying war’s psychological impact, much of it has focused on PTSD, depression, and substance or alcohol abuse associated with combat exposure," said lead author Pauline Lubens, who earned a doctorate in public health at UCI last year and is now a policy analyst at the Institute for Veteran Policy at Swords to Plowshares in San Francisco. "There has been limited focus on grief among veterans."
Training Opportunity
ICTS FFASt Workshop: Scientific Rigor and Reproducibility of Research: Institute of Clinical and Translational Science presents Focused Flexible Accelerated Studies Program.

The ICTS FFASt program aims to provide various training opportunities to graduate students, post-doctoral students and junior faculty to ensure that they possess the core competencies to work effectively both in the broad discipline of translational science and in their specific area of research. To meet this goal the ICTS will provide a variety of trainings throughout the year through our Focused Flexible Accelerated Studies (FFASt) Workshops.

There is a growing recognition that many published studies cannot be replicated for a variety of reasons. As a consequence, the scientific community and NIH understand that there needs to be an emphasis of instruction with respect to both rigor and reproducibility. This FFASt course will focus on approaches to enhance the overall integrity of the scientific process and address topics related to: i) experimental design; ii) analyses and statistics; iii) data management; iv) resource sharing; and v) publication and reporting.

Date: December 6 & 13, 2019
Time: 9:00am - 11:00 am
Location: Hewitt Hall Large Conference Room, Room 1042
Please register with Marguerite Klumb, ICTS Administrative Coordinator, mklumb@uci.edu
Community Engagement
UCI Health was represented by members of the UCI Cancer Center, Dept. of Epidemiology and Public Health (Dean’s Office) at the Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation (VACF) Harvests of Hope Gala on November 3rd in Irvine. The VACF is dedicated to preventing cancer, improving patient quality of life and saving lives through cancer education, research, advocacy, and services in the Vietnamese community.

Photo: Cancer Center: Christine Hui | Epidemiology: Sora Tanjasiri, Cevadne Lee, Cindy Nguyen | Public Health: Liza Krassner
Alumni Focus
This month Public Health Alumni from the east and west coasts gathered in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, for the 2020 APHA Annual Expo. Alumni mingled with students, staff and faculty at breakfast and evening events. A small group even met up post conference in NYC!.

Check out http://publichealth.uci.edu/ph/_alumni/events to stay up to date on future alumni events in your area.

HAVE ALUMNI NEWS, IDEAS OR QUESTIONS? CONTACT: Meredith Kwok Assistant Director of Constituent Relations Public Health / Advancement

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