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CPHA Annual Meeting and Conference - Breakout Sessions
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Conference Breakout Sessions

Breakout Session I (9:45-10:45)

Session A: Infectious Disease

Fighting the Most Common Childhood Infectious Disease- A Silent Epidemic

 

Oral health is often taken for granted, but it is an essential part of our everyday lives. Good oral health enhances our ability to speak, smile, eat, and show our emotions through facial expressions. But oral diseases which range from cavities to oral cancers cause pain and disability for millions of Americans each year This presentation will discuss an often overlooked stomatological disease that is actually the most common childhood infectious disease. Review of the epidemiology and pathology of the disease and how public health officials can help stem this widespread condition that is frequently painful and sometimes serious.  

Lead Presenter: Leigh-Lynn Vitukinas, RDH, MSDHConnecticut Dental Health Partnership

Second Presenter: Marty Milkovic, MSWConnecticut Dental Health Partnership

 

Infection Prevention Training: A Scalable Model Using A Hands-On Approach

 

The transmission of Ebola in US hospitals in 2014 prompted CDC to launch a nationwide effort to assess and improve infection prevention (IP) practices. The CT Department of Public Health (DPH) was awarded CDC funds to assess IP practices at CT healthcare facilities and develop interventions to address gaps in IP competencies. In 2017, CT DPH developed a "Train the Trainer" program to deliver IP "Skills Fairs" at CT hospitals and long-term care facilities.  The Yale School of Public Health provided assistance on the program design and was responsible for evaluation. At Skills Fairs, healthcare staff learn about and perform a return  demonstration of specific IP skills. The return demonstration is captured on a checklist which the facility can use for accreditation. Results: In fall 2017, CT DPH held four "Train the Trainer" sessions attended by 132 IP or nursing staff from 93 healthcare facilities. These attendees were asked to report back after delivering a Skills Fair at their workplace. As of March 2017, 43 facilities had responded (46%) and reported training more than 3,146 staff. 95% reported intention to deliver more fairs in the future as well as high satisfaction with the training method and materials.

 

Lead Presenter: Kathi Traugh, MPHYale School of Public Health 

 

The Public Health Response to the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 in Connecticut

 

2018 is the 100-year commemoration of the Influenza Pandemic of 1918.  Connecticut was one of the first states affected by the fall wave of the pandemic.  The public health response to the pandemic will be reviewed using contemporary accounts and newspaper coverage in The Evening Day (New London), the Norwich Bulletin, the Hartford Times, and The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. 

 

Lead Presenter: Mattew Cartter, MD, MPHState Epidemiologist and Director of Infectious Diseases, Connecticut Department of Public Health

 

Session B: Domestic Violence

Intimate Partner Violence: Bi-Directional Screening, Prevention, and Awareness

 

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is an epidemic in Connecticut. People of all racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and faith backgrounds perpetrate IPV and are victimized by IPV. Participants will view IPV through a public health lens to better understand the impact on both victims and perpetrators. Participants will learn how to incorporate primary prevention into the healthcare setting with the use of a bi-directional screen and awareness education. As the field moves away from disclosure-driven screening, participants will learn ways to use screening tools to effectively educate those they work with.  

Lead Presenter:  Jillian Gilchrest, MSWConnecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

 

The Intersections of Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Illness in Latino Families and Children

 

Domestic violence is a traumatic event and can have significant mental health consequences for the victims as well as for their children. In Latino communities, the intersection of domestic violence, trauma, and mental illness has been reported by victims, advocates, clinicians, and other community members. However, research on this issue continues to be limited in quality and quantity due to several factors such strategies used by researchers to collect data, and the social/community conditions in which the study is conducted. In order to develop a more comprehensive body of relevant research about the intersection of these three important themes, there is a need to educate victims, advocates, family members, clinicians and other community members who can assist with the dissemination of educational information and data collection. Thus, a collaborative effort among NAMI Connecticut (National Alliance of Mental Illness), CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) and the Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice (CTRJJ) from UCONN Health made it possible for the development of the first Spanish/English curriculum on the intersection of domestic violence, trauma and mental illness in Latino families and children. 

Lead Presenter: Rocio Chang-Angulo, PsyD, MAUniversity of Connecticut

Second Presenter: Wendy MotaKasongo, MSConnecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Third Presenter:  Paloma BayonaNAMI Connecticut

 

Session C: Maternal and Child Health

Implementation of One Key Question Pregnancy Intention Screening into Seven Women and Children’s Residential Recovery Programs

  

The CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) conducted an evaluation of the integration of One Key Question pregnancy intention screening and reproductive life planning into seven Women and Children’s residential substance use recovery treatment programs. DMHAS joined the Every Woman Connecticut Learning Collaborative in May 2017 and invited sixteen behavioral health partners to be trained on the use of the intervention to improve health outcomes for women and children involved in its programs who are affected by the opioid epidemic and other substances of abuse. In May and June of 2018, program directors, managers, and clinicians of seven of those programs were interviewed regarding the use of One Key Question and other reproductive health and planning activities to assess the level of integration of the intervention.  Results showed that four programs incorporated pregnancy intention screening into their practices and tailored reproductive health care based on client’s responses, and three programs incorporated more reproductive life planning activities with their clients. Three programs, which did not receive implementation training, did not incorporate the intervention into practice. Conclusions are that implementation training is an integral component to uptake of the intervention, direct training of clinicians as well as program directors or managers enhances the use of reproductive life planning during treatment activities, data collection and client follow-up are challenges to tracking health outcomes relating to the intervention, and having specific resources would improve programs’ abilities to better incorporate reproductive life planning activities for staff and for clients.

 

Lead Presenter: Michal Klau-Stevens, MSW, LCCEUniversity of Connecticut

Second Presenter: Kimberly Karanda, PhD, LCSWConnecticut Department of Mental Health and Addition Services

 

 

Beyond Bricks and Mortar: Prenatal Clinics Collaborate with Drug Treatment Programs to Improve Maternal Child Outcomes

 

Background In light of the current opioid crisis, hospitals and clinics are facing increased numbers of prenatal patients enrolled in methadone or buprenorphine programs or using illicit drugs.  Many hospitals are changing their practice in caring for these families, encouraging rooming-in, breastfeeding and shorter lengths of stay. As those changes were made at Yale-New Haven Hospital, it was acknowledged that partnering with local drug treatment programs would be an important component of the new plan of care for the families, as they have frequent contact with the women. Development The Care Coordinator in the Women’s Center began reaching out to the local clinics whenever a patient presented for prenatal care. She verified dosages and compliance with the program.  Over time, a relationship developed and a team from the hospital went to the drug treatment programs to provide in-services about changes in the care of the families. Implementation Three clinics decided to collaborate with the prenatal clinic and began bi-weekly case management meetings. Patients agreed to be discussed and were aware of the collaboration.  Each current patient was discussed and concerns were addressed immediately. Impact The clinics are identifying pregnancy earlier and facilitating entry to prenatal care.  If patients miss pre-natal appointments, the team works to re-engage in care.  Patients are seeking out education in the clinic and are more compliant. Patients are receiving consistent messages across the continuum. 

  

Lead Presenter: Doreen M. Picagli, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, C-EFM, RN-BCYale New Haven Hospital Women’s Center

 


Breakout Session II (11:00-12:00)

Session A: STI Epidemics and Prevention

Extragenital Gonorrhea and the Epidemic of Sexually Transmitted Disease

 

STD rates, particularly gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis, continue to rise across the nation and here in Connecticut. During this focused presentation, we will present the data supporting increased extragenital (oral and rectal) screening for gonorrhea in particular among asymptomatic patients. We will also discuss the challenges and assumptions that are sometimes cited as reasons to not conduct screening or treatment, and our experiences at the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective after implementing an extragenital screening program. We will also discuss where the future may be headed with multi-drug resistant gonorrhea and concerns regarding risk compensation among those prescribed PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for HIV.

 

Lead Presenter: Joshua I Rozovsky, MS, DISHartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective; George Washington University

 

Improving HIV Prevention and Treatment Outcomes in CT and NE Through Evaluation and Research Partnerships 

 

Small urban areas in CT and other parts of New England (NE) experience a high burden of HIV. Men who have sex with men, transgender women and people of color are disproportionately impacted.  The Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS and Providence/Boston Center for AIDS Research collaborated in 2014 to develop a regional HIV Implementation Science Network with 3 goals: 1) Develop research and evaluation collaborations across NE; 2) Foster partnerships among agencies, stakeholders, and researchers; 3) Focus on small urban areas with high prevalence of HIV. Methods: The Network coordinators identified, convened and engaged diverse stakeholders including researchers, advocates, consumers, health departments, service providers and industry representatives from all NE states. Methods used to bring members together included hosting symposia, leading work groups, video and teleconferences, a listserv for circulating funding opportunities and educational notices, and a Network specific website with helpful resources. Results: Network membership now exceeds 500 with all 6 NE states represented. On average over 100 members attend annual Network symposia/workshops. Representation of community organizations/HIV practitioners is strong and sustained. Multiple regional and collaborative evaluation/research projects were conceived and are underway.  Conclusions: Building a successful regional HIV Implementation Science Network in which members are interested and engaged longterm is possible. Collaborations within the Network have generated relevant research focused on identified target populations that will help CT and other NE states achieve the goal of "Getting to Zero" through more effective HIV prevention and treatment approaches.

 

Lead Presenter: Eliane O’Keefe, MSYale School of Public Health

Second Presenter: Daniel Davidson, MSW, MPHYale; Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS

 

Session B: Opioid Epidemic Response

Opioid Response and Disease Prevention Evidenced Based Programing for Suburban Areas of CT

 

The Pomperaug Health District, Southbury, Ct has continued its efforts to develop and deliver Community Based Programs in both Chronic Disease, and Responses to the Opioid Epidemic.  Major initiatives include the presentation and delivery of the full suite of Evidenced Based Programs (EPB) in Chronic Disease, licensed by the State of CT, in Chronic Disease Self Management (CDSMP), Diabetes Self Management Program (DSMP), and the latest in Chronic Pain Self Management (CPSMP). The Health District has developed the capacity over 5 years to bring these top tier rated programs into our communities and staff them with paid HD staff and community health workers (CHW). Additional programs involved the Master Trainer License for Matter of Balance Fall Prevention (MOB) for which the Health District has directly staffed or overseen over 20 of these 8 weeks, EBP, in a wide region of Western Ct. The Health District will also report on initiatives in presenting a public Health Perspective on the Opioid Epidemic which has now spread deeply into rural and suburban CT.  District approaches include Narcan Training, Local Prevention Council Support, bringing in the US Dept of Justice Heroin Action Response Team (HEAT) into the schools and community, and enhanced public awareness through the deployment of Public Health Statistics at the local level. 

  

Lead Presenter: Neal Lustig, MPHDirector of Health- Pomperaug Health District

 

Trends, Patterns, and Behaviors of Working Suburban Opioid Users

 

The severity of the opioid epidemic has encompassed people from all demographic and geographic backgrounds. Previous research has identified independent demographic, human and social capital, and drug use characteristics associated with full employment. (Koo, Chitwood, & Sanchez, 2007, p. 1035) In addition, some researchers and most practitioners assume a negative association between work and drugs (Uggen & Shannon, 2014 p. 109). To the best of our knowledge, no prior research has examined the trends, patterns, and behaviors of working suburban opioid users. Working here means any type of work that generates an income. This includes under the table work. Methods: Using data from a qualitative study featuring opioid users from the suburbs surrounding three major U.S. cities, this presentation will attempt to challenge previous perceptions of functional drug users. Results: This information is important because while the widespread impact of the opioid epidemic has been felt by many, there is a group of people hidden from view that exhibit resilience, responsibility, and a desire to be functional and contributing members to the workforce and their families. Conclusion: With this insight, their methods of finding success in an otherwise grave situation could be applicable in helping others who are suffering in this crisis. 

  

Lead Presenter: Jeffrey Turner, Candidate for BSSouthern Connecticut State University

Session C: Community Health

Results from the Statewide 2018 DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey

 

The statewide DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey was conducted in 2018 with support from over 80 public and private funders throughout Connecticut, including the nearly all of the state's hospitals, major cities, large health districts, and community funders.

 

Lead Presenter: Mark AbrahamExecutive Director- DataHaven  

 

New Haven Health Leaders: Mobilizing Communities for Health

 

The Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE) at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) was established in 2007 to identify solutions to health challenges through community action research in New Haven. CARE engages directly with residents to build unique collaborations with New Haven community. Its research promotes health by focusing on social, environmental, and behavioral risk factors.  The Neighborhood Health Leadership Program pairs community residents with Southern Connecticut State University graduate students to implement a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project in the low-income neighborhoods directly adjacent to the SCSU campus. This leadership program builds authentic community-university partnerships to work together on solutions to pressing social and health issues identified by the community.  Rooted in principles of CBPR, CARE utilizes action research as a means to overcome social and health inequalities. The intent of CBPR is for researchers to work side by side with community members to define questions and methods, develop interventions, implement research and evaluation, and disseminate the findings. Concepts related to community organizing are central to CBPR.  Two Health Leader cohorts were piloted for the 2017-18 academic year with the opportunity to implement a community health research project. Students are co-learning with residents about local health disparities, CBPR, and community organizing methods. Students are working alongside residents to build relationships with other neighborhood residents and community organizations. Students are responsible for helping to build health initiatives with community residents and conduct outreach, while learning about social determinants of health in an urban low-income neighborhood. Residents are responsible for organizing other residents to participate in developing and implementing health initiatives as identified by the community and serve as a liaison between the neighborhood and SCSU.  Projects are being initiated related to health interventions for men of color and active transit. 

 

Lead Presenter: Alycia Santilli, MSWSouthern Connecticut State University

Second Presenter: Jacquelyn Pheanious, BSHANew Haven Health Leader

 


Breakout Session III (2:10-2:55)

Session A: Community Health Research

Knowledge is Not Enough: Work Stress in Community Health Workers 

 

Community health workers (CHWs) are intermediaries between healthcare providers and patients. Existing research has focused on the use of CHWs to improve healthcare access for under-served populations. Little is known about the work experiences of CHWs, or the impact of work stress on the health of CHWs. Health behaviors included diet, exercise, adherence to preventative care guidelines and use of formal healthcare services. If stress negatively affects health behaviors, stress may also affect CHW job performance by impeding the CHW’s ability to role model good health to their clients. This study used a cross-sectional design to investigate the effect of work stress on the health behaviors of CHWs. CHWs from 49 states (n = 438) completed a survey that assessed their organizational and job level stressors, stress experiences and stress-related health outcomes. Structural Equation Modeling and Path Analysis were used to analyze these work-stress and health relationships. The experience of work stress was positively associated with negative health behaviors in CHWs. Work stress was negatively associated with the use of formal health systems, and positively associated with the use of informal health systems by CHWs. Work stress was positively associated with poor self-reported overall health in CHWs. In terms of job performance, work stress was negatively associated with role efficacy in CHWs. Work stress therefore negatively affects both the health and job performance of CHWs. This study is the first national study of its kind, and provides a foundation for the design of interventions to improve the health of CHWs.  

 

Lead Presenter: Ashika Brinkley, PhD, MPHUniversity of Connecticut; Goodwin College

 

Walking Towards a Brighter Future: A Participatory Research Process to Advocate for Improved Walk to School Corridors

 

Bridgeport is the most populous, and one of the poorest, cities in Connecticut. Due to budget limitations, the Bridgeport Board of Education voted to increase the minimum distance requirement for high school busing service from 1 to 2 miles without any improvements to the walk-to-school infrastructure. Methods: We conducted participatory research to support fifteen youth leaders as they advocate for improvements to their walk-to-school environment. We visited twenty-one classrooms in Bridgeport’s three high schools and used an interactive mapping process with students to identify the most-often used walk-to-school routes (3 routes/school). The Youth Leaders then examined the quality of these routes using the Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes. Youth also collected questionnaires from 187 peers about their school travel experiences. Percentage scores (i.e., percent of total points earned) were calculated for each segment and crossing along the routes assessed. We used chi square tests to examine associations between students’ travel model and negative-travel-related experiences. Results: Almost all segments (82%) and crossings (91%) examined received a failing grade (<64%). In addition, a greater proportion of students who walk/cycle/skate to school rather than ride in a motor vehicle report feeling unsafe (p=.001), missing first period (p=.006), and lower grades (p.001) due to travel-related challenges. Conclusions: School districts must create safe walk-to-school environments to ensure all students’ right to travel to school in a safe and timely manner. Other municipalities might benefit from replicating the youth-led, participatory approach used in this study.  

 

Lead Presenter: Anna E. Greer, PhD, MCHESSacred Heart University

 

SIHA, A Public Health Intervention for Arabic Speaking Community in Greater New Britain 

 

Abstract of the Project: Social Intervention for Health Action (SIHA) A Public Health Intervention proposed by a nonprofit organization in New Britain, CT  Summary of the Project The Sudanese American House in Connecticut Corp., a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, is proposing the public health intervention Social Intervention for Health Action (SIHA, meaning health in Arabic). SIHA targets Muslim and Arabic women and families in the Greater New Britain (GNB) area of Connecticut (CT). The goal of SIHA is to increase engagement of this growing population (500 families in GNB) with the healthcare system by increasing utilization of services, and addressing the lack of cultural sensitivity among healthcare providers toward this population. This program will assist Muslim and Arabic speaking women to effectively utilize the United States (US) health care system and orient them to the prevention goals of Healthy People 2020 (CDC, 2010). The program is based on the results of the study Preventive Health Care among Immigrant Sudanese Women in the Greater Hartford Area of Connecticut, a Masters in Public Health thesis on the health and prevention needs of Sudanese migrant women (Mohamed-Abouh, 2016).  Project Description: The proposed project targets Arab and Muslim women in GNB. SIHA is multi-faceted, focusing on individuals (women), communities (Muslim and Arabic families), and organizations (healthcare providers in GNB). Activities include health awareness events, development of a cultural competence training for healthcare providers, and empowerment of families to navigate the healthcare system and improve the quality of their lives in CT. SIHA is more than a simple dialogue. It provides bridge-building and isolation-breakage by educating the target population about surrounding opportunities and services, while informing the community about the needs and culture of Muslims and Arabs. Local stakeholders have expressed interest in being part of SIHA in order to better understand the target population, and serve it in a more culturally sensitive way. By implementing SIHA, we will provide a platform for a two-way street in which all involved communities learn from each other. SIHA will provide work opportunities for women and men who experience barriers that prevent them from educational and employment opportunities. The project will hire recent immigrants from this population who have struggled to assimilate with the community, and who have the potential to serve the community and improve their quality of life. The project will have multiple partners. It will be implemented in one year, as a pilot for a larger scope project, and it will provide internship opportunities for Public Health students.

 

Lead Presenter: Fawatih Mohamed-Abouh, MD, MPHUniversity of Connecticut Health Center

 

Session B: Reducing Chronic Disease and Obesity

Fit Kids: A Case-Study of Sustainable Public-Private Partnerships Committed to Reducing Childhood Obesity Rates in Norwalk, Connecticut

 

Fit Kids aims to teach elementary school students about nutrition and physical activity through fun, interactive lessons based on the USDA MyPlate guidelines, with a long-term objective of reducing rates of childhood obesity in Norwalk.  Development: The Fit Kids curriculum was developed by the Norwalk Health Department (NHD), Sacred Heart University, and Norwalk Community College. Traditionally, NHD staff and student volunteers delivered the program to students enrolled in after-school programs; however, this model was not sustainable and did not allow for more than three schools per semester to receive the program.  Implementation: To address sustainability, NHD trained staff at 11 after-school programs in Norwalk on the Fit Kids curriculum, allowing staff with no formal background in nutrition education or physical activity instruction to deliver the program independently. To evaluate the effectiveness of after-school staff delivering the Fit Kids curriculum, pre and post data collection was conducted and included a nutrition knowledge quiz based on Fit Kids lesson objectives.  Impact: Among the 7 of 11 trained schools that completed their first year of independent instruction, 58 children completed both pre and post assessments. The mean nutrition knowledge score increased from 65.86 (SD=14.26) on the pre-test to 73.03 (SD=16.01) on the post-test (t(57)=-3.756, p=<.001). This statistically significant result suggests that training lay people to facilitate a nutrition education curriculum is an effective method for increasing nutrition knowledge in children ages 5-10 years and for creating sustainable programming with a wider reach than one single organization can provide on its own. 

 

Lead Presenter: Kaitlin Latham- MPH Candidate

Sustainable Solutions for Chronic Disease and Obesity

 

As the chronic disease epidemic continues to worsen, the need is critical for legislation that will allow the state to cover nutrition intervention by registered dietitian in private sectors not just health clinics to assure access to care. Policy is needed to accurately assess the full savings of enacting prevention-focused measures such as medical nutrition therapy.  There is significant evidence in practice that affordable plant based protein alternatives such as beans and other legumes and other practical strategies has proven to be cost effective.   The lack of funding to provide sufficient nutrition intervention causes a spiral in health complications and burdens the entire cost expenditure due to lack of prioritizing preventive services. It is time to create policy with this focus both at a state and federal level.  This session will provide proven outcomes that could lower the epidemic of obesity and other medical conditions with credible nutrition intervention by registered dietitian nutritionists

 

Lead Presenter: Linda Arpino, MA, RDN, CDN, FANDConnecticut Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Vegetarian Dietetic Practice Group Delegate

 

Session C: Speed Mentoring Insights and Inroads to Kickstart Your Career

Speed Mentoring: Insights and Inroads to Kickstart Your Career

 

This Speed Mentoring program is designed to help students and early career professionals plan for a successful future in the field.  Professionals representing a range of public health careers and workplaces, from the public sector to the private sector and education, will offer participants opportunities to learn in small group question and answer exchanges that will cover: Insights about the skills and attitudes that have helped them grow, succeed and lead throughout their public health careers; How to identify and grow the most marketable and transferrable skills; Skills they have used to tackle population health issues, from epidemics to health equity; Experiences and advice about finding and being helped by mentors; The job outlook and trends for their area of public health.  The session will begin with career mentors giving a brief introduction of their current position and background.  Participants will select which mentor to meet with for a period of eight (8) minutes then move onto their next choice.  Each participant will have the opportunity to meet with up to six (6) mentors, with whom they can exchange contact information.  To facilitate the selection process, a summary handout of mentors’ backgrounds will be available online prior to the conference, and in a handout at the conference. 

 

Panel:

Nkemdilim Chi Anako, MPH, CHESCurtis D. Robinson Center for Health Equity, Trinity Health of New England

Cyndi Billian Stern, MA, MPHCPHA Mentors on Request

Joan Lane, MPHNaugatuck Valley Health District

Crystal Schindo, MHA, Value Based Program Administrator Clinical Integration-Population Health

Bidisha Nath, MD, MPH PCMH Project Manager, Community Health Center, Inc. 

Elaine O'Keefe, MPH-  Executive Director of the Office of Public Health Practice (OPHP) in the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH)      Fawatih Mohammed-Abouh, MD, MPH -Asst prof at UCHC and researcher

Byron Kennedy, MD, MPH, PhD- Health Director-New Haven Heath Department

Randy Domina, MPH-Project Consultant, Public Health Systems Improvement, DPH

Elizabeth Schwartz- SCSU 

Tung Nguyen, MPH- Epidemiologist Hartford Health Dept.

Francis Padilla, MPA- Universal Health Care Foundation

Katherine Kuzmeskas, MPH, CEO, SimplyVital Health

Jonathan Noel, MPH, PHD, Assistant Professor Johnson and Wales, President CPHA

Stanley Bernard, MPH, DPH, Associate Prof. Public Health, SCSU

Michael Pascucilla, MPH- Health Dir. ESDHD

Ruthanne Marcus, MPH, PhD, Yale

Ashika Brinkley, MPH, PhD Program Director of Health Sciences and Public Health, Assistant Professor of Public Health, Goodwin College

Carissa Caserta, MPH, Assistant Director for Community Health at Naugatuck Valley Health District

Jessica Stelmaszek, MPH, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator

 


Breakout Session IV (3:00-3:50)

Session A: Environmental Health and Nutrition

Microbial Source Tracking (MST)- An Analysis of Three CT Watersheds of Long Island Sound

  

Current US EPA protocols for water testing as a means for determining whether bathing areas and/or shellfishing areas should be open or closed utilize a process that involves a 24-hour delay between collecting water samples, obtaining the results and making decisions. Furthermore, those decisions are being made based on the presence or absence of indicator organisms, as actual pathogens are not being tested for and sources of bacteria are unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine bacterial DNA to identify the actual sources of bacteria in order to scientifically evaluate the true risk to public health.

 

Lead Presenter: Michael A. Pascucilla, MPH, REHSEast Shore District Health Department

Second Presenter: Mark A.R. Cooper, MPH, RS

Third Presenter: David Knauf, MPH, MS, REHS

 

 Food as Farmacy

 

This session will start with an overview of the Farm-Based Wellness Program at New Haven Farms.  This four-year old program has helped over 400 people in a low-income neighborhood of New Haven improve their health through growing food, cooking and nutrition education, and behavior change interventions positively impacts the health, social capital, and food security of our participants.  The program is a partnership between New Haven Farms and three institutions in New Haven that care for the city’s most medically underserved community members: Fair Haven Community Health Center, Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center, and Yale Primary Care. All three institutions are federally qualified health centers that deliver a full spectrum of medical services to over 50,000 New Haven residents, the majority of whom suffer from diet-related chronic disease risks and economic hardship.  Healthcare providers from the three institutions refer low-income adult patients with diet-related chronic disease risk factors to the Farm-Based Wellness Program. During the 16-20 weeks of the summer growing season, these referred patients and their families come to the farm for weekly 2-hour, bilingual Spanish/English cooking demonstrations, nutrition classes, and gardening lessons.  Each week, participants take home shares of fresh vegetables and fruits grown by New Haven Farms, along with culturally relevant recipes that build upon a foundation of knowledge for improving their health. Youth who attend the Farm-Based Wellness Program receive simultaneous age-appropriate gardening, cooking, and nutrition education.  

 

Lead Presenter: Michael Devlin, MPHHarvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation

Session B: Social Issues in Public Health

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in Healthcare Delivery

 

Limited or no access to equitable health resources for LGBTQIA+ patients in health care setting(s) poses a threat to health equity and promotes health inequality. This problem can lead to decreased quality of care and potential safety risks. Despite the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) final rule implementing Section 1557 (the non-discrimination provision) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which protects against discrimination on the basis, including gender identity and sex stereotyping, many transgender patients still face unique challenges and stressful situations when they engage with health care providers. This public health epidemic can be mitigated if care providers and practitioners are equipped with the appropriate tools and resources to work with transgender patients and are able to discuss gender identity and the complexities of working with transgender patients.  A team approach within a health care system is vital to providing better care for transgender patients and that includes creating an inclusive environment for the diverse population.

Lead Presenter: Nkemdilim Anako, MPH - Trinity Health New England

Associations Between Suicide Attempts and Homelessness Among U.S. Veterans and Non-Veterans

 

Suicide and homelessness share many of the same risk factors, but there is little understanding of how they are related to each other. Data on 36,155 U.S. adults (3,101 veterans and 33,024 non-veterans) in the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions-III were analyzed to examine the association between lifetime homelessness and suicide, net of other factors, in a nationally representative U.S. sample. U.S. veterans with homeless histories were 7.8 times more likely to have attempted suicide than veterans with no homeless histories (24.5% vs. 2.8%). Non-veterans with homeless histories were 4.1 times more likely to have attempted suicide than those with no homeless histories (23.1% vs. 4.5%). Lifetime homelessness was independently associated with lifetime suicide attempts in veterans (AOR = 3.75, 95% CI = 3.72-3.77) and non-veterans (AOR= 1.83, 95% CI= 1.83-1.84). The findings suggest a unique link between homelessness and suicide, especially among U.S. veterans. Strategies to synergize homeless and suicide prevention services, particularly in the Veterans Health Administration, may benefit high-risk individuals.

 

Lead Presenter: Jack Tsai, PhD, MSYale University; Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System

 

 

Session C: Speed Mentoring Insights and Inroads to Kickstart Your Career

Speed Mentoring: Insights and Inroads to Kickstart Your Career

This Speed Mentoring program is designed to help students and early career professionals plan for a successful future in the field.  Professionals representing a range of public health careers and workplaces, from the public sector to the private sector and education, will offer participants opportunities to learn in small group question and answer exchanges that will cover: Insights about the skills and attitudes that have helped them grow, succeed and lead throughout their public health careers; How to identify and grow the most marketable and transferrable skills; Skills they have used to tackle population health issues, from epidemics to health equity; Experiences and advice about finding and being helped by mentors; The job outlook and trends for their area of public health.  The session will begin with career mentors giving a brief introduction of their current position and background.  Participants will select which mentor to meet with for a period of eight (8) minutes then move onto their next choice.  Each participant will have the opportunity to meet with up to six (6) mentors, with whom they can exchange contact information.  To facilitate the selection process, a summary handout of mentors’ backgrounds will be available online prior to the conference, and in a handout at the conference. 

Panel:

Nkemdilim Chi Anako, MPH, CHESCurtis D. Robinson Center for Health Equity, Trinity Health of New England

Cyndi Billian Stern, MA, MPHCPHA Mentors on Request

Joan Lane, MPHNaugatuck Valley Health District

Crystal Schindo, MHA, Value Based Program Administrator Clinical Integration-Population Health

Bidisha Nath, MD, MPH PCMH Project Manager, Community Health Center, Inc. 

Elaine O'Keefe, MPH-  Executive Director of the Office of Public Health Practice (OPHP) in the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH)      Fawatih Mohammed-Abouh, MD, MPH -Asst prof at UCHC and researcher

Byron Kennedy, MD, MPH, PhD- Health Director-New Haven Heath Department

Randy Domina, MPH-Project Consultant, Public Health Systems Improvement, DPH

Elizabeth Schwartz- SCSU 

Tung Nguyen, MPH- Epidemiologist Hartford Health Dept.

Francis Padilla, MPA- Universal Health Care Foundation

Katherine Kuzmeskas, MPH, CEO, SimplyVital Health

Jonathan Noel, MPH, PHD, Assistant Professor Johnson and Wales, President CPHA

Stanley Bernard, MPH, DPH, Associate Prof. Public Health, SCSU

Michael Pascucilla, MPH- Health Dir. ESDHD

Ruthanne Marcus, MPH, PhD, Yale

Ashika Brinkley, MPH, PhD Program Director of Health Sciences and Public Health, Assistant Professor of Public Health, Goodwin College

Carissa Caserta, MPH, Assistant Director for Community Health at Naugatuck Valley Health District

Jessica Stelmaszek, MPH, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator

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