With the inception of the Bachelor of Public Health program at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions in 2016, public health students recognized a need for undgraduate representation among student organizations. This student-driven initiative led to the creation of the Undergraduate Public Health Association (UPHA) which offers students public health opportunities that address local community needs and cultivates an understanding and appreciation for public health concepts. UPHA intends to promote public health through professional development, field experience and networking, as well as featuring diverse speakers who work in the public health field.
[Photo: UPHA members attend a World AIDS Day walk]
Last year the organization chose to partner with the Rural Women’s Health Project, a non-profit organization that designs and implements community-based, health education projects, trainings and materials to assist communities in strengthening their understanding of critical health, occupational and family issues. UPHA has been involved with fundraising for women within the organization to receive HIV/AIDS testing and counseling training from the Florida Department of Health.
“It’s an essential organization that any student on campus can participate in to gain service learning experience,” said Dr. Amy Blue, a clinical professor and associate dean for educational affairs at the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions. “These students are out in the communities working with non-profits and promoting public health. It’s great to see such initiative.”
[Photo: UPHA Secretary Ms. Ivanna Rocca and President Ms. Yoola Adeniji table at a UF student organization function]
Ms. Morgan Gates, a senior bachelor of public health student who was recently accepted into UF’s combined bachelor’s/MPH program, has participated in UPHA events and meetings since its creation in 2016. She currently serves as the UPHA treasurer.
“UPHA is an organization open to all majors, as public health is relevant to more than just health professionals,” she said. “It’s a great way to meet new people, network and gain helpful resources, and to learn more about the field and how you can get involved.”
[Photo: Fundraising for the Rural Women’s Health Project]Tags: Florida