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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

UNC Celebrates National Public Health Week

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health students, faculty and staff members, alumni and community partners will celebrate National Public Health Week, April 3-9, with activities throughout the week.


[Photo: Mental and physical health are both important to human health – and a little fun never hurts, either! (Clockwise, from top left): Students, staff and faculty members enjoy the company of Charlie, the therapy dog, while learning how to relieve stress; The annual mini-Olympics-like “Gillings Games” give students an opportunity to play and exercise together; A new activity during this year’s National Public Health Week is a digital scavenger hunt that gets people up and moving – and working together to win a prize; Students experiment with new recipes in the Nutrition Kitchen facility; ‘Culture of Health’ activities at the Gillings School include a weekly yoga class.]

Student government leaders and the North Carolina Institute for Public Health at the Gillings School have organized the inaugural Gillings School National Public Health Week Challenge, a digital scavenger hunt to increase awareness and connections to various aspects of the School and areas of public health. Posters at about 20 locations throughout the School will contain a Quick Response (QR) code, which members of the School community may scan with their phones to learn more about the School’s nutrition kitchen, mission statement, course offerings and NPHW events scheduled throughout the week.

Each day, official standings will be announced, and new ways will be revealed to earn points. On Friday, members of the winning team will be awarded a prize.

On April 3, students, faculty and staff members, alumni and community partners will come together to consider all we have learned through our self-study process as the School prepares for an accreditation site visit in late April. Games and information booths will be set up, and School tours will be conducted. The Gillings School also has partnered with the Orange County (NC) Health Department to challenge everyone to participate each day during National Public Health Week by posting a “This is Public Health” photograph to social media. Those who post every day are eligible to receive a gift card. “Culture of Health” activities, including yoga and organized afternoon walks around the School’s neighborhood, are scheduled.

On April 4, representatives from the Orange County Department of Health, Orange Water and Sewer Authority and Orange County management will share lessons learned from the recent water crisis in Chapel Hill. The event will be livestreamed and recorded for viewing by those unable to attend in person. (Please register here.) Also available will be sessions that remind us of the importance of maintaining mental health. There will be visits from therapy animals and access to mental health support, information and resources available across UNC and in the Chapel Hill community.

On April 5, student government leaders have organized a day of service. Members of the School community will join with public health schools across the country to participate in the National Day of Action for Voting Rights. Student leaders also will host a service fair for students seeking ways to contribute to community projects.

On April 6, Nutrition Coalition, a UNC student organization, will distribute healthful recipes, host the Hunger Lunch (in partnership with Nourish) and raise money for TABLE, a local nonprofit that provides healthy food to hungry children. The Gillings School’s 2017 Public Health Champion Award, which recognizes the outstanding work of a public health partner, will be announced.

On April 7, student teams participate in the Gillings Games, an annual competition in kickball, soccer and other team activities.

All are encouraged throughout the week to post updates of their daily step totals to support the American Public Health Association’s One Billion Steps Challenge.

More details are available online.