Public Health Student Association Promotes Public Health Awareness at the U

The Public Health Student Association (PHSA), in partnership with the American Public Health Association, celebrated National Public Health Week April 7-13, as part of the University of Miami’s Week of Well-Being.

PHSA, with support from several campus organizations, including UHealth Wellness, the Diabetes Research Institute, UPolice and UEmergency, hosted five days of events focused on five daily themes — prevention, maternal and child health, eating well, emergency preparedness and becoming the healthiest nation in one generation. With activities happening on both the Medical and Coral Gables campuses, PHSA was able to reach a large portion of the University of Miami community.

On Monday, April 7, events focused on maternal and child health, including an educational fair and a lunch discussion with a care coordinator from The Jasmine Project, a federal Healthy Start initiative to reduce racial-ethnic disparities in infant mortality in Miami-Dade County. Concurrent with National Public Health Week was World Health Day. This year’s World Health Day focused on the threat of vector-borne diseases and the actions necessary to prevent and protect populations at home and abroad. In addition to lectures, there were demonstrations of DengueWEB, a surveillance tool used to track the spread and distribution of Dengue fever, and the introduction of Humans v. Mosquitos, a game-based intervention designed to educate children as well as policymakers about vector-borne diseases and climate change.

On Tuesday, April 8, PHSA hosted a panel to discuss local, regional and national prevention strategies for becoming the healthiest nation. The panelists included Rimsky Denis, M.D., Executive Director of the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Department of Community Service (DOCS); Lillian Rivera, Ph.D., M.S.N., R.N., Administrator of the Florida Department of Health; Marisel Losa, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Health Council of South Florida; and Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences and Director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health.

On Wednesday, April 9, students and staff attended a short information session and exercise on Hands-Only CPR. Al Brotons, Associate Director of Operations and Instructor Development at the Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education, hosted the event and explained the reasoning behind the adoption of the new technique by the American Heart Association. With the popular Bee Gees hit “Staying Alive” (for pacing purposes) playing in the background, participants tried out their new skill on dummies to see if they could go the necessary two minutes.

On Thursday, April 10, events included a juice mixer with the Diabetes Research Institute, FarmFresh Miami and UHealth Wellness, as well as a screening of the documentary film “Forks Over Knives.”

The week was capped off with a Prevention Party on Friday, April 11. The Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Fair featured mental health and wellness education, tobacco cessation, a breast cancer awareness seminar and outdoor yoga.

For a full list of the National Public Health Week events held during the University of Miami’s Week of Well-Being, visit

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