Each year during the first full week of April the University of Indianapolis joins the American Public Health Association to celebrate National Public Health Week. This year, from April 2 to April 6, the university will host several events to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health.
Dr. Heidi Hancher-Rauch, professor and director of the public health program at UIndy it’s important to celebrate public health week to increase positive awareness and help “amazing” public health officials feel appreciated. “Public health is an integral part of every community, but our professionals often work behind the scenes with the majority of people having no idea what we are doing to improve and protect their health,” she said.
This year the theme of National Public Health Week from the APHA is “Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health” to ensure everyone, in all cultural communities, has a chance at a long and healthy life. Events are aimed to address and prevent the underlying causes of poor health and disease risk. Presenters will explain how to use social determinants of health to understand how those causes are different for each person based on various factors like race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and financial situation.
“Students and other attendees of our Public Health Week events will get a small glimpse into some of the exciting work we do in public health, hopefully helping them better understand how public health professionals serve our communities in diverse ways,” said Hancher-Rauch. “They may become interested in career opportunities in the field or they may just better appreciate the work done by others to improve their health.”
Dr. Hancher-Rauch and the entire public health program invite the UIndy community to attend the following events during National Public Health Week:
April 3 – Nurtured by Nature
2 p.m., R.B. Annis Theater in the Health Pavilion
Learn more about how the built environment around you impacts your health.
April 4 – Testing Tuesday
9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Health Pavilion Lobby
Join us for sexual health education and information, free Sexually-Transmitted Infection (STI) testing provided by BellFlower Clinic, and free goodies. No ID or insurance are required to participate.
April 5 – Refugee Health: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
7 p.m., virtual
Speakers: Olga Mangusheva, Gurinder Hohl, and Dr. Jyotika Saksena. Registration required.
April 6 – UIndy Public Health Program Reception & Celebration
1 p.m., HEAL 410
Dr. Virginia Caine, Director & Chief Medical Officer of the Marion County Health Department
One of the highlights of the week will be hosting Dr. Virginia Caine, who will speak about the importance and future of public health. Following her presentation, the UIndy Public Health Program will host a brief reception and celebration of their recent accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
“Achieving CEPH accreditation is extremely challenging and takes many years of preparation,” said Hancher-Rauch. “A lot of public health programs forgo accreditation because of the intense work and cost associated with it, but the accreditation is a guarantee of the incredible quality education we provide via our Public Health Program at UIndy. We are exceptionally proud of our new accreditation status!”
We look forward to seeing you at National Public Health Week at UIndy!