Posts tagged ‘APHA’

Glimpse of Something More

Many of our students attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in Atlanta, November 4 – 8. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Temitope Akintimehin, BS

Temitope Akintehin, at the Tulane APHA booth

Going to the APHA Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, gave me a renewed perspective on public health. It is one thing to learn from a paper about the research people have done, but to be able to have the opportunity to speak to a researcher about their work in person is a whole other experience. This conference allowed me the chance to speak one-on-one with public health professionals in the field and network with people who were enthusiastic to connect me with peers who shared my interest. Despite being a student and inexperienced, the health professionals and doctors never made me feel like I did not belong. They welcomed my curiosity and they responded with great wisdom. I never felt intimidated to voice my opinion or ask for more clarification. The more I interacted with people, the more confident I felt about my choice to pursue my MPH degree.

What I enjoyed most about the conference was the diversity. There were a variety of sessions and topics that covered just about everything about public health. That reminded me just how versatile the realm of public health could be and that it was ok for me to have multiple interests that overlapped. The more I attended sessions, asked questions, and contributed to conversations, the more I felt like I belonged. Seeing the way panelists responded to questions and comments was invigorating. I could see how passionate they were about their work and how confident they were with presenting their findings. I knew that I wanted to be like them one day and I was able to leave certain, now more than ever, that I was on the right path to get there.

Overall, I am happy that I got the chance to experience this type of conference at this time in my life. I was able to build a new network filled with dynamic individuals that want to make a difference in the world. I not only met inspirational individuals but was also able to make good friends with people who can provide advice and support. I am looking forward to whatever comes next for me.

“I don’t know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.” – Tim Tebow

Temitope Akintimehin received her Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management from Towson University in 2014. She is currently a first-year MPH student, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health.  She plans to graduate in May 2019. Her interests include maternal and infant health, health and racial disparities, global health, and community health.  She also enjoys watching foreign films, going to the beach, listening to live music and dancing.


November 22, 2017 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Compounding vulnerabilities

Many of our students attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in Atlanta, November 4 – 8. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Rachel Shea, BSPH

Downtown Atlanta welcomed APHA attendees with banners

Through Tulane CEMCH I was able to attend my first APHA conference in Atlanta, Georgia. While we had discussed prior to going the basic format of the conference, I was not sure what to expect for my personal experience at this conference. Overall I enjoyed APHA and look forward to attending future conferences.

I primarily focused on the maternal and child health oral and poster presentations. My favorite was a town hall titled Substance Abuse and Opioids: The Maternal and Child Perspective. The opioid epidemic in the United States is a public health crisis and must be addressed across all fields in public health. In particular, women may be vulnerable to legal prosecution if they struggle with addiction and become pregnant. A lawyer from Advocates for Pregnant Women spoke about the need for legal and medical advocacy for women in this position. In many cases the opioid use in question was doctor prescribed; they were also prescribed methadone for during the pregnancy if they cannot detox on their own. In some states, if the infant is born with NAS the mother may be arrested for “harming the child” even if the methadone use was doctor prescribed. Ironically, in the majority of these states there were laws in place which make it difficult to access abortion services, putting mothers in an unbelievably difficult position.  With such poor maternal mortality and infant mortality rates in the United States, we must acknowledge any way we can work to improve the health of mothers and children and advocate for our vulnerable populations. This presentation gave me a unique perspective on this issue.

I also enjoyed working at the Tulane alumni booth as I got to connect with alumni and current students with similar interests. A few recommended organizations to connect with for future internships and jobs, which I appreciated.

Rachel Shea is a first year MPH student, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in May 2019. Her interests include sexual health, HIV/AIDS, mental health and substance abuse.  She also loves dogs, music, and living in New Orleans.


November 21, 2017 at 8:46 am Leave a comment

Putting the pieces together

Many of our students attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in Atlanta, November 4 – 8. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Tylar Williams, BS, CHES

Tylar Williams at APHA

This was my first time attending APHA, so I had no idea what to expect. I was forewarned that the conference can be overwhelming with all the different sessions to attend, and advised to create a plan. This was the best advice I could have received, because even with my planned schedule of events, I still found myself blown away by all the options. I attended many different sessions during the conference, but two really resonated with me.

The first was a session titled “African-American Women: Maternal Child Health- Reproduction, Prenatal and Motherhood.” There were 4 different presentations during this session, but my absolute favorite was by Jaye Clement, MPH/MPP. She talked in depth about the design and outcomes of their enhanced model of group prenatal care, Women-Inspired Neighborhood (WIN) Network Detroit. It was inspiring to hear about a model of prenatal care that is non-traditional and is having a positive impact on the birth outcomes of African-American women. Her talk showed me that it’s possible to combine my passions in public health with my passions in nurse-midwifery. I was familiar with the Centering Pregnancy model, but tailoring it to vulnerable African-American women and including community health workers as co-facilitators was innovative to me. During the session all I could think about was figuring out if there were similar programs here in New Orleans and if not, how can I bring one here. After the session ended, I could not wait to exchange information with her.

The second session was titled “Black Mamas Matter! Reclaiming Maternal and Reproductive Health.” This session had five different presentations, and it was the first session where I found myself too enthralled to take notes. This session focused on the intersection of race and power and their effects on reproductive justice. Prior to this session I had some knowledge of the historical context behind why the current racial inequities in maternal mortality exist, but I left knowing so much more. It was also interesting to be in an MCH session that focused solely on the mothers. I think a lot of times we frame the conversations in MCH around the infant and child outcomes, so it was refreshing to hear things from a new perspective. I also learned about different Black women-led initiatives that I want to become involved with. I also found a few new books to add to my reading list that focus on reproductive and birth justice.

In all, I enjoyed my experience at APHA. It provided me with the chance to network with people from all walks of life and at different stages in their public health careers. This conference was special to me because I likely would not have met the amazing people I did this weekend under normal circumstances. I like to think of my life as a giant puzzle. I have all the pieces, but I am just not sure how they all fit together. I left APHA feeling like I’ve put some of the pieces together and it is an amazing feeling. I am excited to see what next year has to offer!

Tylar Williams is a first-year MPH student concentrating in Maternal and Child Health and plans to graduate in May 2019. She received a bachelor’s degree in Health Education from Howard University in 2016. She is CHES certified. Her interests include nursing, midwifery, prenatal and postpartum care, and improving reproductive and sexual health education in the Black community. She loves cooking, spending time with her friends and family, traveling, and taking her dog, Millie, on walks.

November 20, 2017 at 9:44 am Leave a comment

Shifting from “not my favorite conference” to “I will definitely come back next year!”

Many of our students attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in Atlanta, November 4 – 8. What follows is a post from one of these attendees.

By Alejandra Leyton, MPH

Presenter Alejandra Leyton, Shokufeh Ramirez, and moderator Sofia Curdumi Pendley

As a first-time participant at APHA, I decided to seek advice on how to seize this opportunity. While a diversity of messages was received, “not my favorite conference” was the one that struck me the most. The overwhelming number of exhibits, and oral and poster presentations was the main reason some colleagues couldn’t enjoy the number one conference of Public Health professionals in the U.S. This sounded like a challenge, but always having a bottle of water, a working app, comfortable shoes, and the desire to connect with others who share my same interests has allowed me to rate APHA as “I will definitely come back next year!”

The interactive format of the Greg Alexander Speed Networking breakfast was perfect to learn about the research of 30+ maternal and child experts in less than 60 minutes. Even when it seemed that the 1.5 minutes per introduction was not enough time to get to know someone’s work, it allowed me to connect with an expert in the methods I have been trying (but failing) to learn for the past year; as well as to find a dataset that could be useful for my dissertation. With similar experiences during the oral presentations, the last night at APHA I found myself having dinner with two strong, smart, and motivated PhD students from University of Maryland. The fact that we met at APHA for the first time did not stop us from talking about ways on how we could write papers together, and by doing so, bring our institutions together.

Finally, while oral presentations presented the perfect opportunity to admire, critically assess and excitedly learn from top notch researchers, I would like to share my favorite experience. During an International Health session, we learned that women in rural Guatemala reject Pap smears when pregnant, fearing that the baby could get a disease from the sample collection. Therefore, providers do not even offer the service to pregnant women anymore. This opened the floor for waves of questions, comments and suggestions: What is the role of health providers as educators? When will we shift from pap smears to HPV tests for women in remote locations? Why are some leaders only aiming for one pap smear in a woman’s lifetime? Not only was the discussion exciting and energizing, but it also reminded me that although we have endless problems affecting people’s and communities’ wellbeing, there are also endless possibilities to help them through policy, supply side interventions, and behavior change approaches.

Alejandra Leyton is a third-year PhD student in the department of Global Community Health and Behavioral sciences. With a background in Economics, her research interests include the triangulation of Qualitative and Quantitative Methods, women’s health, behavior change, and health inequalities among vulnerable populations. 

November 17, 2017 at 11:43 am Leave a comment

APHA- Public Health Fellowship in Government


The Fellowship in Government provides a unique public policy learning experience, demonstrates the value of science-government interaction and enhances public health science and practical knowledge in government. APHA is looking for candidates with strong public health credentials and an interest in serving as a staff person in the U.S. Congress. The fellowship is based in Washington, D.C.

The fellow will have the option of working in the House or Senate on legislative and policy issues such as creating healthy communities, improving health equity, addressing environmental health concerns, population health or the social determinants of health. Much of the work developing public policy happens at the staff level, where these critical issues are not well understood or incorporated into the discussion. The fellow will have the opportunity to make an impact and improve the health of the public.

The fellowship aims to:

  • Establish and nurture critical links between federal decision-makers and public health professionals;
  • Educate public health professionals about the legislative process and the skills necessary to be successful, including the ability to translate complex public health issues into legislative, regulatory and policy initiatives;
  • Increase the visibility and impact public health professionals in the policy arena;
  • Increase attention to and focus on the social determinants of health and the goal of improving health equity and creating healthy communities;
  • Support the inclusion of sound public health science in policy; and
  • Create a culture of policy engagement for public health professionals.

Deadline for the application is August 14th

APPLY Today!


July 24, 2017 at 1:35 pm Leave a comment

Behind every great person is… a person

Many of the CEMCH Scholars attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in Denver, October 29 – November 2. We will be posting their reflections and highlights this month.

By Kara Hoffman, BS

The theme of this year’s APHA conference was Creating the Healthiest Nation: Ensuring the Right to Health. I arrived to the conference on Sunday, in the middle of the first full day, having come straight from a friend’s wedding in Texas, and unfortunately missed some earlier events. That evening my classmate Gabriella and I attended a public health activist’s dinner down the street from the convention center. Based on the description of the event, I thought I would be attending an event for people like myself – who consider themselves activists in the public health field, to simply network and enjoy a dinner together as a community of like-minded individuals. Little did I know this was about to be the dinner of a lifetime.


Kara Hoffman, Sir Michael Marmot, and Gabriella Landgraf-Neuhaus (left to right)

Gabriella and I arrived earlier than many of the guests and set our coats at a table before mingling with some of the other guests. When we returned, our table had filled up with people whom I did not recognize. I quickly learned that I was sitting next to past APHA President, from 1983, Anthony Robbins, MD, MPA, who has attended consecutively the last 51 APHA annual conferences! In addition to meeting Dr. Robbins, I also got the chance to speak with many other seasoned activists in the public health community who have played a pivotal role in social justice efforts across the US. I also had the pleasure of meeting Sir Michael Marmot, commonly referred to as the father of the social determinants of health – which I never would have dreamed would happen!

Meeting so many significant people in the field yet seeing them socialize in this environment made me realize that every great person is still just a person, and that I too am capable of achieving great things in my career as a public health advocate!

Kara Hoffman is a first-year MPH student concentrating in Maternal and Child Health, and plans to graduate in May 2018. She received a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from The George Washington University in 2013. Her interests include nursing, midwifery, perinatal care, and nutrition and physical activity education.







November 22, 2016 at 3:43 pm Leave a comment

Little professional in a sea of excellence

Many of the CEMCH Scholars attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in Denver, October 29 – November 2. We will be posting their reflections and highlights this month.

By Jordan Stephens-Moseley, BA

Before attending APHA, I had never gone to an academic/professional conference of that magnitude. The conference was overwhelming at times and inspiring during others, but overall I took away many learning experiences.

Each session drew in different crowds which allowed me to meet different people, but networking was not the easiest task. Most of the time I felt like I was a student in a classroom but I had to save my questions until the end. Other times I felt like I could have a stimulating conversation with the presenters of each session. Most sessions did not invite conversations among professionals even after the sessions were finished. The mixture of haste to attend as many interesting sessions and the recurring element of running out of time made it nearly impossible to meet new people.

I found that the most stimulating talks were the roundtable discussions and scientific sessions on refugee health and displaced persons. In the roundtable discussions, I had stimulating conversations that discussed studies that allowed me to see what other possibilities I could explore in my field in connection with refugee health. The complexity of displaced persons and refugee health is intriguing because it involves knowledge about history of these persons and an understanding of politics.

At the end of the conference, I was delighted by the possibilities that await me in public health. The sessions in the conference allowed me to broaden my conception of maternal and child health. I will still focus on my passions in women’s health, infant & maternal mortality, and reproductive rights, but I have now expanded on the populations I wish to serve.

Jordan Stephens-Moseley is a first-year MPH student, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in May 2018. Her interests include women’s rights, birthing practices and outcomes, reproductive health, and health advocacy of disadvantaged populations. She loves to dance, watch movies/tv, read, and travel for relaxation and public service.

November 22, 2016 at 9:43 am Leave a comment

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