Texas Public Health Week Kicks-Off on April 4th

Texas Public Health Week Kicks-Off on April 4th

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DIANE LARSON AND TONIA WU The  American Public Health Association designates the first week in April as National Public Health Week, and the student organization Texas Public Health, bring that event to the University of Texas campus.

During the week, we members of Texas Public Health work to promote health education, disease prevention, and population health within the UT community. Here’s what we have lined up for this year!

MONDAY On April 4th, we’re kicking off the week with a Public Health Carnival. The Carnival will feature several types of health screenings, including STI screenings, a bone marrow registry, and a blood donation truck. It will also have various university organizations, student organizations, and non-profit groups hosting carnival-themed education activities. We will be giving away items like tote bags, pins, T-shirts, and stickers to promote the event and public health. Free stuff not enough to pique your interest? We’re also going to have therapy dogs and a mini-horse. The Carnival will be from 10AM-2PM on East Mall.

TUESDAY On Tuesday, we’re going to have a screening of the critically-lauded, Oscar-nominated film The Impossible, based on the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Preceding the movie, we’ll have a panel of experts in the field of environmental health, who will share their thoughts on global warming, the phenomenon of El Niño, and public health effects of extreme environement crises on the world population. Come with questions! The event will be in the Union Theater, with the panel from 6-7PM and the movie from 7-9PM.

WEDNESDAY On April 6th, Texas Public Health hosts  a Public Health Networking Fair attended by a range of organizations, business, non-profits, advocacy groups, and graduate schools seeking to spread awareness about the diverse field of public health. We hope to attract students previously interested in a career in public health as well as newcomers who could discover an interest in fields like epidemiology, environmental health, and international health advocacy. Organizations attending include: the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the UT College of Pharmacy. Stop by the PCL Plaza between 1PM and 4PM to get some flyers and find your dream career!

Thursday Coinciding with World Health Day, an international holiday dedicated to shedding light on international health issues, is World Health Night! It is an international extravaganza, featuring a diverse showcase of performances and presentations and an extensive buffet of foods from around the world, purchased from local Austin vendors. We’ve staged groups such as the Austin Chinese Dance Company, comedy improvisational group Gigglepants, and fusion a cappella team Hum A Capella. During the night, we will host a silent auction, the proceeds of which will be donated to a non-profit for victims of El Niñodamage. See a performance, grab some delicious food, and check out our awesome gift baskets from 7PM-9PM on Gregory Plaza. Don’t miss it!

FRIDAY To finish off the week with a bang, Texas Public Health and END7 are co-hosting the Dodging Diseases dodgeball tournament. END7 at UT is the student chapter of a national organization dedicated to eradicating neglected tropical diseases (NTD’s). The tournament will be in Belmont 628 from 4:30PM-7PM. Grab 4 friends (or 4 strangers) and make a team! Each team’s entry fee is $40 ($8 per head), and all proceeds will be donated to the national organization to support their cause. Just 50 cents can help save a life for an entire year!

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There you have it – our lineup for this exciting week! We hope that this event is beneficial to a broad range of people, from UT students, staff, and faculty, to the Austin community at large.

Come by one, or all, of the events, and enjoy giveaways, academic and career support, free health screenings, and some really cool information on topics like environmental health and global warming. Public health is population health, and population health involves everyone, so come be involved!

Bonus: if you attend 3 of the 5 events, you’re eligible for a raffle with some sweet prizes.

This article was written by members of Texas Public Health in promotion of Texas Public Health week.

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