Online Program

Real world public health: 10 years of bringing local public health to life for graduate students

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Stacey King, MS, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Justeen Hyde, PhD, Institute for Community Health, Cambridge, MA
Erin Dillon, MA, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Ffyona Patel, BA, Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT
Kelly Washburn, MPH, Institute for Community Health, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Rosa Lynn Schoeff, MEd, LCSW, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Albert Pless Jr., MS, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Claude-Alix Jacob, MPH, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Graduate programs in public health offer young professionals a rigorous academic introduction and grounding in the ten essential services of public health. However, exposure to public health practice is often limited to a project-based practicum with one preceptor. To introduce students to the range of complex, real life scenarios with which practitioners at the local level grapple, the Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD) and the Institute for Community Health (ICH) successfully developed an innovative half-day symposium which has been held annually for the past 10 years. The symposium, “Real World Public Health (RWPH),” features three interactive workshops based on local, current hot topics; a career panel; a keynote speaker; and a networking lunch. Presenters and facilitators are encouraged to candidly discuss challenges such as political factors, funding, data, advocacy, capacity, and sustainability. In 2012, students from eight different academic institutions attended RWPH. Students reported increased insights into the interdisciplinary nature of public health, career opportunities, and local public health. They also reported an improved understanding of local public health practice beyond what they had learned in school (mean rating 3.36 out of 4). In addition to the positive student impacts, CPHD and ICH staff benefit from disseminating their successful work to both students and staff; generating opportunities for student internships; and strengthening relationships with local universities. The presentation will share the evolution of the program model; planning tools; and evaluation results.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the structure, planning framework, and tools for a successful professional development seminar for graduate students in public health. Assess the effectiveness of a professional development seminar in increasing insights into “real world” local public health scenarios. Discuss benefits of partnerships between academic institutions, local public health departments, and public health research organizations.

Keyword(s): Workforce, Public Health Careers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have led program planning for this event for the past 4 years and have been a participant and planner since 2004.
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.