Texas Public Health celebrates National Public Health Week with week of events

Reihaneh Hajibeigi

Addressing threats to the well-being of individuals within a community, a week-long series of events will teach students what they can do to promote healthy living through their choices.

Texas Public Health will host Public Health Week 2012, a campus-wide celebration of National Public Health Week.

Matthew Haviland, public health senior and Texas Public Health president, said TPH wanted to host a large event that could educate and engage students and the whole campus community about public health.

“Our ultimate goal is to make people on campus more aware of what public health is and how they have a positive influence on it, while still having fun,” Haviland said.

Haviland said public health awareness is important because the health of those around us influences our own health.

“Public health is all about making it easy to watch out for the health of the community because that is so important to our personal health and happiness,” Haviland said. “We have a lot of events for students to check out this week.”

The week will begin with the Public Health Fair, which features 35 organizations from UT and the Austin area that will highlight their connection to public health, said Cindy Le, public health senior and TPH vice president.

Students visiting tables will be able to receive a free T-shirt that they can decorate with their personal definitions of public health, which will showcase the different relationships public health has to so many organizations, Le said.

This week will also include an “Amazing Race” event where students must cycle through five public health tables, teaching them different concentrations within public health and what the field is about, Le said.

Le said the activities this week were carefully designed and organized to show a progression.

“The goals of Public Health Week are to spark interest in students who do not understand public health, and to enhance the knowledge of all participants,” Le said.

The program will benefit the student body by promoting conversations on wellness, presenting sustainable lifestyle choices and providing health education that highlights how pervasive public health is in everyday life, Le said.

“Even though TPH has truly only been active for about two years, Public Health Week is definitely an ambitious program for any organization,” Le said. “This week would not have become a reality without the countless hours of hard work and dedication from all of the members and volunteers.”

Graduate research assistant Chanan Duong said she believes this week will be a good way to educate students because of the various fun approaches taken by TPH.

“Students will enjoy these events because a lot of the focus is placed on how public health is relevant to everything we do,” Duong said.

Printed on Monday, April 2, 2012 as: Texas Public Health hosts events to promote community wellness