A whirlwind week and then it snowed

State Health Directors’ meeting, etc

A whirlwind week: chairs’ meeting, a fascinating ASPH conference call with Linda Birnbaum, PhD, director NIEHS, School of Dentistry dean search committee, meeting with one of three candidates for Provost, and many more meetings dominated while we were finishing our budget submission to the Interim Provost. A highlight was speaking to the annual meeting of the 2010 North Carolina State Health Director’s Conference. Every time I interact with this group, I come away awed by how much they do with so little. The economic crisis of the last year manifests as a local crisis — people out of work lose their health insurance and need public services; then, there’s a cascade of other needs that result. Meanwhile, health departments took massive cuts so they’re doing less with less. Every health director I have met is committed, enthusiastic, optimistic in the face of what others would see as calamities, and really smart about public health. These are real heroes. Several health directors got awards, and when they were introduced, I was so impressed by the number of community activities in which they participate and the boards on which they serve.  It’s exciting that thanks to Leah Devlin, Dorothy Cilenti and some other people, more of our students are going to have paid internships in local health departments all over the state. Students want this, and it’s good for North Carolina.

It snowed…and snowedimag0129-version-2.jpg

imag0117.jpgFriday night, I came back from Raleigh and got to the office after 5 pm. About 7 pm, I looked out my window and realized it had been snowing for quite awhile, and I’d been oblivious while everything was turning white. Not having a 4-wheel drive car anymore, I started grabbing my things to head for the road. The drive home was pretty unnerving, but I cannot complain; we live close by. The snow just kept coming, and by morning, the streets, sidewalks and trees were covered. It looked beautiful. Here are a couple pictures, one from our backyard and one from the Meadowmont center area after the plows. The Wellness Center closed for two days, and I kept running into people who looked like they were in a state of shock, me included! It’s not like we can’t walk, and we did, but my days really are structured around the great start I get at the Wellness Center.

Hundreds of students gathered on McCorkle place this past Saturday to enjoy the weekend snow day.

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