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Public Health Service Day at APHA

For the second year, Saint Louis University students organized Public Health Service Day during the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting, which took place October 29 – November 2, 2016, in Denver, CO. This year’s event was hosted in partnership with the Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, Colorado School of Public Health, and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH).

“Public Health Service Day was started as a way to get students out of the convention hall and into the host community, working with local organizations in shared service” said Ms. Samantha Wasala, MPH ‘17, who spearheaded the student organizing committee.

This year, the organizing committee, who began the planning process in January, added service opportunities in St. Louis for their peers who could not attend the conference.

In total, 95 students from 31 institutions participated by volunteering two hours of their time at 10 sites in Denver and St. Louis.


Find photos from the event on Twitter #phserviceday or Instagram @sluhealthjustice]

“As emerging public health professionals it’s important to remember the communities that we are visiting and to try to get to know the public health issues that are being faced and addressed in our current communities,” said Ms. Wasala.

She hopes to grow the number of students involved in Public Health Service Day at the next APHA annual meeting, and for other schools to plan tandem service events in their home cities.

In Denver, 60 students volunteered at:

In St. Louis, 35 students volunteered at:

“I am so proud of our Saint Louis University students for the dedication and commitment to social justice they demonstrated in the Student Day of Service both in Denver and in Saint Louis to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association,” said Dean Collins Airhihenbuwa of Saint Louis University’s College for Public Health and Social Justice.

“Led by Ms. Samantha Wasala and her team, it took nearly a year of planning, countless hours, and a selfless commitment to making a difference in our communities with impact beyond the conference walls,” he added.

Thanks to the 2016 Public Health Service Day committee: