NYMC Celebrates National Public Health Week
National Public Health Week (NPHW) was observed with an array of activities at the School of Health Sciences and Practice (SHSP) during the first week of April.
Students, faculty, staff and alumni of the SHSP all joined together to commemorate the nationwide event of the American Public Health Association (APHA) as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation's health. Organized by Jeffrey Patrick, left, M.P.H. candidate and vice president, membership of the Student Healthcare Executives (StuHE), this year’s NPHW at New York Medical College (NYMC), carried out the theme “living your best life now.” The week’s events were sponsored by ProHealth Dental and Westmed Medical Group to highlight the importance of dental and medical health.
NPHW was kicked off with a special lecture, “The History of Public Health at New York Medical College” presented by James O'Brien, Ph.D., center, professor emeritus of public health and former vice dean of the SHSP, who returned to campus to an audience of familiar faces and provided a historical recollection of public health at NYMC and his thoughts on the future of public health.
The week’s events included an opportunity organized by StuHE for students to volunteer at Feeding Westchester, a local food bank that leads hunger action programs and mobilizes resources needed to eradicate hunger in Westchester County.
Another evening featured Carol Levine, M.A., award winner for the Friends of the National Library of Medicine & Donald A.B. Lindberg Distinguished Health Communications Award, who presented “Family Caregivers in an Aging Society: A Public Health Priority.” Ms. Levine directs the United Hospital Fund's Families and Health Care Project, which focuses on developing partnerships between health care professionals and family caregivers, especially during transitions in health care settings. Her presentation was followed by a lively State of Public Health Panel Discussion with the School of Medicine, the School of Health Sciences and Practice and the Touro College of Dental Medicine (TCDM) at NYMC. Panelists included Mill Etienne, M.D. '02, M.P.H., assistant dean for student affairs, clinical assistant professor of neurology and School of Medicine house advisory dean; Aaron E. Yancoskie, D.D.S., associate professor at TCDM and adjunct assistant professor of pathology at NYMC; Luis F. Riquelme, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-S, associate professor of speech-language pathology and director of the advanced certificate program in pediatric dysphagia; and Samant Virk, M.D. and Bruce Valauri, D.D.S., FACP, of ProHealthDental, event co-sponsor.
The week was rounded out with “Discovering Public Health: A Roundtable Discussion with Alumni and Students” at which public health professionals shared their experiences and how they discovered public health. Professionals in the areas of epidemiology, speech-language pathology, behavioral health, environmental health and health policy and management were on hand to share their stories, including Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, M.D., M.S., FAAP, clinical associate professor of pediatrics, adjunct professor of public health, senior fellow for Center for Disaster Medicine and Institute of Public Health.
“National Public Health Week was an amazing opportunity for the public health community at New York Medical College to get together and share their experiences about all the different ways there are to living the best life possible,” said Mr. Patrick.
Photo from left: Jeffrey Patrick, M.P.H. candidate and vice president, membership of the Student Healthcare Executives Club; Mark J. Kittleson, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Public Health; James O'Brien, Ph.D., professor emeritus of public health and former vice dean of the SHSP; Robert W. Amler M.D., M.B.A., dean of the School of Health Sciences and Practice and vice president for government affairs; and Ben C. Watson, Ph.D., vice dean, School of Health Sciences and Practice.