193680 Organizing a Statewide Simulcast to Increase Public Awareness of Water and Public Health in Wisconsin

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kaija Zusevics, MPH, CHES , Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
The recently passed Great Lakes Basin Compact has myriad implications for one of Wisconsin's valuable natural resources: fresh water. Additionally, concerns about the health of significant bodies of water and Wisconsin's ground water supply espouse the need to educate the public about the connections between water and public health. Recognizing the timeliness of this topic and building on a desire to enhance public awareness and action, the Marketing and Communications Committee of the Wisconsin Public Health Association organized a statewide simulcast of the film “FLOW” followed by a panel discussion with water and public health experts. To increase effectiveness and allow participants to understand the needs of fellow Wisconsinites with varying perspectives, organizers actively applied core tenets of Community Based Participatory Research throughout planning, implementation, and evaluation. A detailed presentation highlights the lessons learned, implications for professional networking, and formative and summative evaluations on coordinating and participating in this statewide educational endeavor. This information will provide impetus, recommendations, and guidance to public health professionals and community activists who can organize an event in their region. Of utmost importance for success are initiating statewide linkages and relationships early, selecting a relevant topic, identifying and attracting the target audience, proactively addressing technological issues, selecting an appropriate panel, and assessing both process and outcome. The use of technology to educate and bring together geographically dispersed populations about water and public health and encourage public action has proved to be an effective and beneficial community-driven effort in Wisconsin.

Learning Objectives:
Define the process to organize a community, academic, and agency collaborative effort to implement a statewide simulcast and panel discussion focused on water and public health. Identify the challenges, advantages, and lessons learned when establishing collaborative and geographically dispersed relationships to promote a statewide public health event and subsequent networking opportunities. Evaluate the benefits of increasing public awareness about the relationships between water and public health through a statewide simulcast and expert panel discussion.

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Water

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have received my Masters in Public Health and currently am co-chair of the Wisconsin Public Health Association's Marketing and Communications Committee, which took the main lead in organizing a statewide simulcast and expert panel discussion of the movie "FLOW" for purposes to increase public awareness of this public health issue.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.