On the ground in public health

Last week, I spoke at the North Carolina Public Health Association’s Annual Educational Conference. It was good to interact with local public health folks. I was pleased to hear that our students are contributing positively to health departments around the state. It’s great experience for whatever they do in their careers.

Today, Anna Schenck, professor of the practice, director of our North Carolina Institute for Public Health (and more), and I visited the Alamance County Health Department.

The number of different services Alamance County Health Department delivers, and the roles they perform are almost beyond belief. They do everything from inspect restaurants, day care centers, rest homes and wells, to track infections and provide well-child visits, women’s health care, immunizations and dental care. That’s only a partial list. They do it with fewer and fewer resources and needier populations. And as one of the people said, “There’s always more <to do>.”

We were really impressed that the leaders of programs with whom we met were willing to ask hard questions about what they do and to want even more evidence about what works. They’re innovators who use data to improve what they do.

I got back just in time to hear a fascinating presentation and discussion by Health Policy and Management professor John Paul about using twitter in the classroom. There’s always something new to learn!

Happy Monday. Barbara

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