UNE staff, faculty, and alum present at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting

U N E's Portland campus quad in the fall

Staff, faculty, and an alum from the Center for Excellence in Public Health (CEPH) and Graduate Programs in Public Health (GPPH) recently presented their work at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) Annual Meeting.

Due to COVID-19, the meeting was held virtually and attracted about 9,000 attendees from within and outside the United States.

Titilola Balogun, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., assistant director of Public Health Practice for GPPH; Toho Soma, M.P.H., M.S., senior research associate in CEPH; and Liam O’Brien, Ph.D, GPPH adjunct faculty and associate professor of statistics at Colby College, presented their work on youth substance use.

Their poster, “Tobacco use among Maine youth: Perceptions and self-efficacy of healthcare providers on prevention efforts,” was based on a cross-sectional survey of health care providers across Maine between February and November 2019, in which participants were asked to describe their knowledge and attitudes regarding youth tobacco use and to determine what preventive services they provide to their patients. The findings showed that providers know the magnitude of youth tobacco use; however, many are not aware of current prevention policies or resources.

Balogun also presented a poster on “Creating final products and demonstrating competencies: Preceptors’ experiences with mentoring online M.P.H. students.”

The poster described creative ways to develop applied practice experiences for online M.P.H. students that meet the needs of the practice site as well as the requirements of the Council on Education for Public Health. Based on her experience coordinating the field component of the GPPH online Master of Public Health program, composed of students from all over the United States and abroad, Balogun developed guidelines to help preceptors define high quality deliverables that can be applied regardless of geographical location.

Additionally, GPPH alum Alyssa McFarlane, M.P.H. ’18 and GPPH Adjunct Faculty Arduizur Carli Richie-Zavaleta, Dr.P.H., M.A.S.P., M.A.I.P.S., presented a paper titled, “Policy and Program Analysis of Current Public Health Crisis within Prisons in the U.S.: Proposing Strategies to Decrease Rates of Chronic Disease among Incarcerated African American Men.”

The presentation was based on McFarlane’s capstone paper submitted as part of the requirements for the M.P.H. degree and highlighted the inequalities experienced by African American men in the incarceration system and their increased risks of morbidity due to cardiovascular diseases.

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