142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Bridging the Gap between Public Health Students & the Utah Public Health Association: An Evaluation of Successes and Opportunities for Improvement

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Stephanie Croasdell, MPH , Utah Public Health Association, Salt Lake City, UT
Challenges within the field of public health are becoming more complex. The Institute of Medicine recently stated that the educational training in the U.S. is not adequately preparing the future public health workforce. This is primarily attributed to the lack of relationships between academia and public health professionals. Public health workforce challenges in Utah are no exception. The Utah Public Health Association (UPHA) is doing exceptional work to bridge this gap between students and professionals in the field. With the creation of its Student Caucus just four years ago UPHA created a connection for students and mentors, allowing students to be better prepared for the constantly changing obstacles in a public health career. With student representation at each graduate program and reliable communication with every accredited, 4-year university, student membership has doubled every year since its creation. Student attendance of UPHA events, particularly the annual public health conference, has also increase remarkably. In order to determine student interest in mentoring opportunities, the Student Caucus (UPHA-SC) created an online exploratory survey, available to all public health students in Utah. The survey captured the attitudes and objectives of current public health students regarding their professional and practical experiences. Among the respondents (n=186) were undergraduate (53%), graduate (37%), and doctoral students (10%) attending 5 Utah universities. Ninety-four percent of respondents were interested in engaging with professionals through an organization that offered networking and job opportunities.  Results from this survey have allowed UPHA and other professional organizations to create a model for sustainable student involvement. Through the utilization of the UPHA Student Caucus, public health students will be better connected with professionals, allowing for a more prepared and skilled future workforce.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the operating procedures of the Utah Public Health Association Student Caucus. Demonstrate how affiliate organizations can successfully engaged with the undergraduate and graduate student bodies in their state. Identify barriers to implementing student groups within affiliate organizations.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the immediate past president for the Utah Public Health Association Student Caucus, I have had the opportunity to initiate workforce development projects that are bridging the gap between public health professionals and students. I recently graduated with my MPH from the University of Utah, where I was able to develop skills in improving the reproductive health of Utah communities, healthcare delivery transformation and program evaluation.
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.