Since 1995, when the first full week of April was declared National Public Health Week (NPHW), communities across the United States have observed NPHW as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues important to improving the public’s health. The Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health will celebrate this year’s NPHW April 3-11 with numerous activities open to the public at both the College Station and McAllen campuses.
The Brazos Valley kickoff event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 3 during First Friday in Downtown Bryan. Starting at the Carnegie Library, volunteers will give guided tours of walking trails the school was instrumental in establishing. Promotional materials and door prizes will be distributed.
On Monday, April 6, at 10:30 a.m., Nancy Berry, Mayor of College Station, and Al Saenz, Bryan City Council Member and Brazos County Public Health Board Member, will be in the school’s administration building lobby to present a signed proclamation declaring National Public Health Week in the Brazos Valley. This will be followed at noon by a Career Tips Lunch & Learn Panel featuring alumni of the school from around the nation sharing their best career advice to current students.
Throughout the week, individuals are invited to submit pictures to the Instagram Photo Competition depicting how they are “green.” The photos will be judged on creativity and perceived environmental impact and prizes awarded. Also, during the month of April, Texas A&M University will again be participating in the fun, nonprofit health challenge called Million Mile Month. Million Mile Month is a global challenge to complete one million miles of physical activity together as one community across one month. Join the team as we log activities, win healthy prizes, and top the leaderboard.
On Tuesday, April 7, from 12-12:45 p.m., individuals have the opportunity to learn about the physical and mental benefits of yoga by participating in a yoga class in the garden area of the school.
On Wednesday, April 8, from 12-12:45 p.m., the Department of State Health Services will present a Lunch & Learn on, “An Epidemiological and Environmental Investigation of a Salmonella Ohio Cluster in a Brazos County Restaurant.” Ms. Casandra Jones, who is a former student of the school and served as the Reporting Coordinator of the Epidemiology Team, will present lessons learned and how such outbreak investigations are handled.
On Thursday, April 9, multiple events will occur beginning at 10 a.m. with the school hosting an American Red Cross blood drive in the Medical Sciences Library Lobby. From 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in Rudder Plaza, the school will host a texting and driving awareness campaign for the Texas A&M student community. The campaign includes the distribution of materials, participants taking a pledge to not text and drive and other activities. At 4 p.m. in the school’s classroom building, Dr. Marcia Ory, associate dean of research, will announce the winners of the student research poster competition. All research posters are on display for public viewing throughout the entire week in the school’s classroom building.
On Friday, April 10, from 12-3:30 p.m. the Brazos Valley Obesity Prevention Network will host at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Bryan Campus, Health Professions Education Building, various sessions on obesity prevention and public health strategies. Lunch will be provided followed by cooking demonstrations; information about local nutrition and physical activity resources; Tai Chi instructional session; and physical activity strategies at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Campus, Health Professions Education Building.
Also on Friday, Ambassador Zef Mazi, Senior Strategic Officer of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will be honored at a 2 p.m. reception in the school’s lobby. Following the reception, a meeting will be held with the school’s leadership to discuss future potential collaborations with the IAEA Division of Human Health.
The week’s festivities in the Brazos Valley will conclude with the Annual Spring Banquet at the Veranda from 7–10 p.m.
The McAllen Campus will begin NPHW activities on Monday, April 6, at 4:30 p.m. by kicking off a month-long walking initiative, “Healthier Steps toward Public Health,” and distributing free pedometers to students, faculty and staff. A colonias exhibit will be on display throughout the week with stories of colonia residents and descriptions of health issues facing the region.
On Wednesday, April 8, at 2 p.m. at the McAllen Campus, Jim Darling, Mayor of McAllen, will sign a proclamation declaring National Public Health Week in city. This will be followed by the signing of an articulation agreement with South Texas College (STC) to facilitate STC students’ ability to pursue a bachelor’s degree in public health from the Texas A&M School of Public Health. Those in attendance will be Shirley Reed, M.B.A., Ed.D., president of South Texas College; Brett Giroir, M.D., executive vice president & CEO of the Texas A&M Health Science Center; Dr. Jay Maddock, dean of the Texas A&M School of Public Health; and Dr. Gil Ramirez, head of the public health studies department.
At 5:30 p.m. that same day, a panel discussion of the Affordable Care Act will be facilitated by Dr. Marlynn May, faculty emeritus, of the Texas A&M School of Public Health. Panelists include local stakeholders, physicians, and public health professionals.
For more information on NPHW, visit our website.