We are celebrating National Public Health Week with many great events. Our signature annual Public Health Research@Maryland event will bring together hundreds of public health students, researchers and working professionals tomorrow to explore new opportunities for translating research into action for health equity. Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner, is kicking off the day (at 9:00 a.m. in Stamp Union Atrium) and doing incredible public health work in her community. Dr. Tony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIH), will give our keynote talk about Zika virus (at 3:15 p.m. in the Atrium), just following the release of a new CDC report on Zika Virus–Associated Birth Defects in U.S. Infants and the call for better prevention and screening. We’re also co-sponsoring the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) conference in Washington, DC, taking place April 7-9, and are proud of our growing number of global health initiatives and opportunities for students.
I have been energized this week by conversations with community members and students. I started the week with a ‘Walk and Talk with the Doc’ around Lake Artemesia, organized by the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, to engage Prince George’s County residents in discussion on questions around their health while participating in physical activity. It was especially exciting to take part in a program that is run by one of our alumni (Christopher Noronha, BS, Behavioral and Community Health) and current student intern (Aanchal Domalapally, BS, BCH). Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion, The New Face of Tobacco, on e-cigarettes and health communication sponsored by our Graduate Students in Public Health. The Students Engaged in Public Health group in the Public Health Science program (Shady Grove campus) organized a critical panel discussion on the Opioid Epidemic and our Community, which I also participated in and found very inspiring. I also viewed the premiere of Unseen Enemy at the National Academy of Medicine. This new film (premiering on CNN April 7, World Health Day, at 9 pm) offers a great review of infectious diseases and public health. I hope you too have found ways to get active this week and to learn more about how public health strategies are improving health in our communities and moving us towards "becoming the healthiest nation."
In just a couple of weeks, many in the public health community will join together for the #MarchforScience in Washington, DC to acknowledge and voice the critical role that science plays in each of our lives. Many from the University of Maryland School of Public Health will join with other ASPPH members for this historic event. I hope you will join us!
Boris D. Lushniak
Dean and Professor