A step challenge and a free community training on the opioid overdose medication naloxone highlight the offerings as part of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions’ (SPHHP) annual celebration of National Public Health Week. The celebration features a week’s worth of events, talks and yoga classes — all free and open to community members — in addition to the month-long step challenge. The celebration is centered on recognizing the contributions of public health while highlighting issues that are important to improving the nation’s health.
“National Public Health Week is one time each year when we join others across the country to recognize the many ways the field of public health and our national public health system directly impacts our lives,” said SPHHP dean, Dr. Jean Wactawski-Wende. “As public health professionals, we promote the power of prevention and work toward achieving health equity in our communities,” she added.
The school produced a variety of videos to highlight the various themes represented throughout the week by APHA; Monday, April 2: Behavioral Health; Tuesday, April 3: Communicable Diseases; Wednesday, April 4: Environmental Health; Thursday, April 5: Injury and Violence Prevention; and Friday, April 6: Ensuring the Right to Health.
UB’s 2018 Step Challenge runs from April 1 – 30. It continues to get bigger each year, as more members of the university community and the public sign on to join the month-long challenge either in teams or individually. This year’s challenge, which is being partially sponsored by Whole Foods, aims to reach 300 million steps collectively. This will be the third year for the step challenge at UB. Last year’s event saw more than 1,700 people combine for more than 300 million steps. Participants are eligible to win various weekly prizes, including iPads and yoga mats.
UB is hosted a naloxone training session on April 4 in collaboration with the Erie County Department of Health. Naloxone — more commonly known by its brand name Narcan — is administered to people who have overdosed on opioids, such as prescription drugs like oxycodone, Vicodin and hydrocodone, which are prescribed to treat pain, as well as non-prescription drugs like heroin. “Opioid overdose has become a leading cause of death in the U.S., and has led to a public health crisis locally and nationally,” said Ms. Kim Krytus, director of MPH initiatives in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions. “Administering naloxone in the event of an overdose can help to prevent death, and is a critical response to this crisis.” The training showed participants how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, as well as how to properly administer naloxone. Attendees who successfully complete the training will be given a kit containing two doses of naloxone.
In addition, two yoga classes were offered. Vinyasa yoga led by 2011 UB School of Social Work alumna Ms. Elise Pogorzelski from 5:30-6:30 p.m. April 3 in 403 Hayes Hall. Hatha yoga led by Ms. Mary Dedrick, director of clinical education in the department of exercise and nutrition sciences, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. April 4 in 125 Kimball Tower.
Other National Public Health Week events at UB also included a:
More information on National Public Health Week at UB is available on the SPHHP website.