Dr. Laura Parajon, Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Health at the New Mexico Department of Health, discusses a new internship program that helps students understand why they might have an interest in a public health career; Eric Cote, an ASTHO Consultant,...
Dr. Laura Parajon, Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Health at the New Mexico Department of Health, discusses a new internship program that helps students understand why they might have an interest in a public health career; Eric Cote, an ASTHO Consultant, explains the importance of making plans to help people using ventilators or other medical equipment in a power outage; ASTHO examines how emergency operations centers across the country went online during the pandemic in a new brief; and another ASTHO brief details how public health teams in Oklahoma used an organizational framework to plan and implement new harm reduction programs.
This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Friday, July 29th, 2022. I'm Robert Johnson.
Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
I think the most exciting thing I've seen is is that so many of the students who participate in this program actually are like, "Oh my gosh!" They actually see health equity in action. They see that it's not just about talking about health equity, but it's about living it and listening to communities.
That's New Mexico deputy secretary of health Dr. Laura Parajon talking about a new internship program that allows students to explore why they might have an interest in a public health career.
I think that's what we're trying to in this iteration of having a curriculum, having a cohort to work together is to really build that group that, you know, will be sustained by the why. Because, you know, public health has been hard recently. Most recently, as we all know, COVID changed. Many things impacted, you know, all of us impacted, the students. And at the same time, it's an opportunity for us to look at our why and how we can be in public health.
Parajon says the goal is to find students who are passionate about public health work.
I think the why approach will help us because we'll get those people who kind of want to do public health as a career, as a purpose. It will also give them opportunities to understand what is public health and, you know, how cool that is.
The program hosted eight students last summer. Parajon says the plan is to launch it in the fall and run it year round.
If I had had an internship program when I was a student, I think I would have come into like governmental public health much earlier than I did. So, I think it gives people exposure to public health. And then they're like, "Oh yeah, governmental public health could be really cool and could really make impacts to our population for health."
Watch Dr. Parajon discuss the internship program in a new ASTHO video. It's available using the link in the show notes.
When the power goes out, most of us grab a flashlight and wait until the lights come back on. But for people living with disabilities, an outage caused by bad weather can put their lives in jeopardy.
ASTHO consultant Eric Cote says public health professionals can use the HHS emPOWER program to make plans to help people using ventilators or other medical equipment. But he adds awareness must extend beyond the local health department.
Hospitals need to be mindful of what happens often in power outage is individuals who depend on these devices show up in hospital emergency departments simply looking for a place to plug in without any other real medical need. And that takes resources away from hospitals at a time when the power is out and hospitals are often operating on reduced loads and power capabilities.
Cote says ASTHO is working with Louisiana on a project that helps in-home ventilator users find a reliable source of emergency power during an outage.
It's really a first of its kind initiative in the country. And it's going the extra step of realizing that somebody who's dependent on a ventilator is going to have to evacuate if there's a power outage. But if we can help them get additional batteries and help them get those recharged during an outage, they won't have as urgent a need to evacuate and that gives them more time to consider other options.
Read more about the emPOWER program, using the links in the show notes.
Also this morning, many emergency operations centers across the country went online during the pandemic. A new ASTHO brief examines how they did it and outlines a few of the steps necessary to make some or all EOCs work virtually. There's a link to the article in the show notes.
Finally today, public health teams in Oklahoma are using an organizational framework to plan and implement harm reduction programs approved by the state's legislature. Last year, the Boundary Spanning leadership framework helps organizations work across agency lines to achieve program and policy goals. You can read more in a new ASTHO brief online now. There's a link in the show notes.
That'll do it for today's newscast. We're back Monday morning with more ASTHO news and information.
I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great weekend.