The first week in April hails annually as the National Public Health Week where the public health system, practitioners and agencies across the country celebrate and promote public health. Over the course of the last 15 years serving as a public health practitioner, often times, I remember wanting friends, family and others to better understand public health and my actual professional world. The majority of those years I spent planning, preparing, and training for public health emergencies and not if but when they would occur. However, even with experienced public health situations, like H1N1, and knowing the “when” would happen, never did I wish a true pandemic of this magnitude to occur. What we have now though is a population with better understanding of public health – what it is, why it is important and how the practice of public health impacts EVERYONE. We need to remember though that public health is more than COVID-19.
This year’s National Public Health Week has an overarching theme of Building Bridges to Better Health. Strengthening relationships and partnerships, collaborating and connecting real world, practice and academia resonates also with our work at the Center for State Policy and Leadership (CSPL). CSPL tackles emerging issues and strategically has prioritized integrating issues of public health and public affairs into its applied research, policy, and education (see example from Dr. Simmons’ recent blog post). Dr. Friedman (current President and Chief Executive Officer of Resolve to Save Lives and prior Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) shared a post from Dr. Bill Foege (Presidential Distinguished Professor at Emory University) on LinkedIn recently. His post described the four essential lessons learned from Smallpox. We have all not only experienced a different professional journey through COVID-19 but also a personal one. COVID-19 has collided worlds in different ways and revealed perspectives and divergence. The second and third lessons of Dr. Foege’s post cannot be emphasized enough. The world and issues will continue to emerge, unfold and evolve. We must use our skills and experiences to adapt, apply learning and move with the needs of the public and world. Exhaustive, factual, and timely communication of what is known continues to help the public navigate this pandemic and sets a stage of expectation in all public events of significance or emergency going forward. Forging relationships – new, old and interdisciplinary, actively listening to one another, considering and respecting diverse thinking, knowing roles, exercising leadership, and exchanging ideas and lessons will lead to “productive partnerships” and change to build a better tomorrow. Together is better health.
P.S. Check out the UIS Department of Public Health and its programs and learning opportunities.
Our REACH, Our IMPACT
Reflecting and evaluating on our successes helps make improvements, see gaps and strengthen our actions toward meeting our mission.
- Over 315 students – Aligned with the Experience Engaged directional pillar of the UIS Strategic Compass and the mission of CSPL, CSPL prioritizes engaging students in the real world. CSPL hires students to grow skills in applied research, brings students to the table to learn about wrongful conviction case work, integrates experiential learning into the classroom, enhances digital media and journalism skills, helps incubate their innovative ideas, mentors and leads students to unveil public service and connects and bridges practice and academics for our students.
- 200 plus partners – CSPL partners with a myriad of partners across Illinois and beyond including, government (federal, state, and local), non-profit sector, community-based organizations (CBOs), academic institutions, private sector, coalitions, public policy centers and among others.
- 50 years - UIS continues to celebrate its 50th We at CSPL are honored to call one of the founding faculty ours – Dr. Larry Golden. His dedication to UIS and to the Illinois Innocence Project is admirable and unwavering. Take time to celebrate Dr. Larry Golden here.
- 11,000 surveys – During a pandemic with adapted work practices, 2020 set a record for the Survey Research Office in administration and completed surveys across a variety of research projects.
- Over 60 projects – Across CSPL, we’re proud to be delivering and serving our partners and clients through a myriad of projects that promotes better outcomes for the public.
- 1,000 investigators and 5 years – Child Protection Training Academy marked its five-year anniversary and is applauded for its successful simulation training and training of over 1,000 investigators.
- And MORE.
If YOU are not a part of these metrics, I ask you, “why”? Let’s get connected, learn more from each other and see where we can work together.
CSPL Employee Spotlight: Unveiling our Gems
More about Amy - CSPL Employee Spotlight - Amy Wheeler
- March 31 Urban Trees: Planning, Policies and Planting Recorded Event
- Monthly webinars with the Office of Development and Innovation (DEDI) (released via this distribution list and on CSPL FB)
Have you identified a need or problem we can assist you to solve? Do you have any feedback or ideas? Please tell us.
UIS CSPL Needs and Suggestion Box
Molly Jo Lamb
Executive Director, CSPL