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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

South Florida: Nicole Elinoff attends Facebook Communities Summit

As the sexual minority health coordinator at the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in Orlando, Fla., University of South Florida College of Public Health graduate student Ms. Nicole Elinoff understands the power of social media.

A full-time employee and MPH student who commutes from Tampa to Orlando — something she describes as a “short-term struggle for long-term gain” — she practices her passion of HIV prevention daily.

“As many of us know in public health, social media is a really important tool to engage different individuals,” she said. “The initiative I’m representing — Talk. Test. Treat Central Florida — is an initiative of our local health department because we really want to stress all aspects of HIV prevention across the whole continuum: talking about HIV, raising awareness, breaking myths, getting tested to know your status, getting treated to prevention HIV through PreP, and living well with HIV.”

The power of social media to reach large groups of individuals is key to the FDOH’s outreach efforts, according to Ms. Elinoff.

She and her community partner Mr. Daniel Downer, creator and founder of Bros. in Convo Initiative — a grassroots effort with the aim to “empower young men of color to live their best and healthiest lives” through HIV prevention — applied to attend the Facebook Communities Summit in San Francisco, held Feb. 7-8.

The summit brought together local business and nonprofit communities, Facebook group leaders, and others working in health, for a two-day experience of best practices and dialogue on how to improve efforts.

“There were just some really innovative and incredible things that health leaders are doing to provide support and resource that are meeting people where they are,” she said.

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