Posts tagged ‘collaboration’

Southeast MCH Scholars Collaborative Meeting

img_8417This past weekend (Friday, September 23 – Saturday, September 24), we were pleased to host this year’s Southeast MCH Scholars Collaborative Meeting, a partnership with our counterparts at Emory, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of South Florida. As a result of the collaborative, it is expected that Scholars will…

  • Develop a unique MCH identity and expand a view of themselves within a larger system of scholars;
  • Network across programs and states in the SE, building relationships with present and future colleagues; and
  • Enhance MCH knowledge and leadership skills.

img_8248Southeast MCH Scholars Collaborative Meeting Agenda

Resources related to Human-centered design for public health

Select presentations of the Centers of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health and their activities

Presentation of Amy Zapata, Louisiana Title V Director

Presentation of Lauren Ramos, HRSA Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Director of the Division of MCH Workforce Development

We are so grateful for the many professionals, many of them our alumni, who contributed to the success of this gathering. We also appreciate the engagement of the Scholars themselves as they learned more about the field, themselves, and each other.

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September 26, 2016 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

Fall 2015 Communication Seminars

Join the Tulane Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health and the Tulane Prevention Research Center for our remaining Communication Seminars of the semester. This semester’s series focuses on research and evaluation as communication tools, with each seminar addressing it through a different lens – personal, programmatic, and structural/systems-level.

All seminars are 12:00-1:00 pm and are free and open to the public. They are held on the 12th floor of  the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans LA 70112.

Tuesday, Sept. 1: Racism throughout Louisiana history: The Catalyst for a health divide
Gloria Grady, MPH, Health Promotion Coordinator, Louisiana Office of Public Health, Bureau of Family Health

Wednesday, Sept. 16: The Proof is in the Pudding: Measuring and Communicating Health Education Program Results to Create Change
Alissa Bilfield, Executive Director, The CookBook Project

Wednesday, Sept. 30Saving Lives and Changing Systems: Why Communication is Critical in Public Health
Naomi Englar, Communications & Dissemination Coordinator, Tulane PRC and Tulane CEMCH

September 15, 2015 at 9:56 am Leave a comment

Undoing Racism

Last week, the Tulane MCHLT hosted an “Undoing Racism” workshop for students, staff, faculty, and MCH partners, in an effort to better understand and address a key determinant of health.

By Liz Hasseld, BA

It’s been about a week since I attended a three-day workshop titled Undoing Racism, presented by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. That title packs a punch – I know! I learned galaxies in those three days and I am excited to apply my new knowledge and perspective as I move forward in public health. I feel very lucky to have participated in this workshop at the start of my career in Maternal and Child Health.

Being a reflexive learner was vital to this type of education. The workshop was three days long, we were in the same room, and barely moved from our chairs. But I was never bored. The hours went by quickly even though I was mostly listening. I think the time passed so quickly for me because we were talking about race, something that is taboo or impolite or often shifted to other issues in conversation with friends or discussion in class. It is rarely discussed as a stand-alone topic in mainstream settings. The first day the presenters (organizers) discussed some ground rules with the group. One rule was to focus on race in United States, and to not bring up classism or sexism. At first I was a little reluctant about that rule – isn’t intersectionality what it’s all about these days? But after the three days I understood why that rule was vital. Without it, the issue of race would become hidden behind other issues and other words. It is usually the last thing to be discussed – it never gets the time or attention it deserves. We were taught the historical beginnings of race and about the laws and policies that have built up the system we have today, with Blacks as second class citizens. We examined the widespread social policies starting from the founding of the United States that benefited White Americans (“White Affirmative Action”) like the Homestead Act, The New Deal and The GI Bill, leaving Black Americans out directly and indirectly. White Americans have had a much longer time and much more government backing to build up wealth and assets that are evident today.

The title to the workshop gave me false hope of unveiling all the answers to cure our country and ourselves of systemic racism. What I gained was far more powerful. The best way I can describe my experience – which was truly life changing – is that it lifted blinders off my eyes that I’d had on since I was born. Ideas of privilege and systemic racism were not new concepts to me (I, a White female, went to a liberal arts school after all!). I was aware of the facts and figures, individual stories of struggle, unfair media portrayals of people of color, and health disparities that exists in this country but I have never put all the pieces together into a philosophy that unites people. Beyond creating programs and engaging in superficial community engagement, public health professionals need to be involved within their own community to break down a system of oppression – meaning that, I, as a public health professional, can’t leave the office for the day and expect my program to change the current system. It will take honest communication and my favorite, community organizing. There is no clear path or way to “undo racism” but it must start from inside my own community – not from an ivory tower or a board room in a skyscraper. This may seem obvious but it was a really good reminder to me as higher education tends to slowly morph people into type A technocrats whether we like it or not!

Although public health is full of compassionate people who want to help others we must try to see a bigger picture. We have professionalized traditional duties of the community to give ourselves jobs. Although we mean well, this practice takes power away from the communities we are meant to help. So we should cut all social programs and let everyone fend for themselves? No. This idea can be dangerously mistaken for a neoconservative view that individuals should be left to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, free of big government. That is absolutely not what I am advocating for. The point is that there is no pre-subscribed and clean data-driven answer. The answers will only come from honest dialogue, courage to ask difficult questions, and an awareness of our own place in this racist system.  Perhaps the workshop left me with more questions than answers. These questions might take a career or a lifetime to answer. These questions are uncomfortable. They raise into question my country, my identity, and my history. The solution to these difficult questions is to keep asking and talking – not to shut down with grief or rejection. So I look ahead with hope and humility. I am going to try my best to remember everything from those three days.

Liz Hasseld, an MCHLT Scholar, will be graduating in Summer 2015 with an MPH concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. Her interests include migrant and refugee health, reproductive health, and achieving health equity through policy. As an ESFJ, she loves to travel and meet new people and is slowly teaching herself Spanish.

May 21, 2015 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

Humanure Power’s Facility is Open

Tulane MCHLT staff were happy to recently receive the following news from Tulane MCHLT Scholar alumnus (MPH ’13) and Humanure Power co-founder Anoop Jain, who has been working in Bihar, India to end outdoor defecation:

Humanure Power toilet facilities, Bihar, India

HP sanitation facility, Bihar, India

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Humanure Power opened its pilot community sanitation facility on July 10! After 4 years of dreaming, we celebrated the opening of our facility with our entire staff and hundreds of people from the local community we are working with. We had 258 users on our very first day! This is incredibly exciting, and is a great number to work up from. In the coming weeks, we will analyze our usage data to track which groups in the community need more outreach to encourage use. Our goal is to capture this data effectively to demonstrate impact, so that we can work closely with local government agencies to replicate our model throughout Bihar.

I’d also like to mention one key change to the HP model. We are no longer focusing on using the energy we produce from our facilities to power batteries/portable lights. Instead, we are going to use that energy to power a water filtration system. We conducted water quality tests a few months ago. The results were extremely discouraging and highlighted an immediate need for a clean water intervention. It makes sense for us to implement a solution that is needed by the community, thus the change in our model. I’d like to point out that the energy side of our program has always been flexible. Our primary concern is improving access to toilets. We are willing to use the energy we produce to serve the community in whatever way it needs. We will sell filtered water for $0.01 per liter, half of what other vendors in the area are selling it for. This money will go directly to paying our cleaning staff and for general toilet maintenance.

Having witnessed the work and passion Anoop has put into realizing his dream, it is exciting to learn that the facility is not only open, but has been so directly shaped by the needs of the community. Access to toilets not only safeguards human dignity and sanitation, it also helps protects the safety and education of girls.

July 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment


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