2015 PHAST Bloggers

PHAST (Public Health Action Support Team)  is an interdisciplinary extracurricular student group that helps health departments and community organizations with short-term public health related projects.  It gives students the chance to apply and adapt classroom knowledge while tackling real world public health issues. For the 2015 Spring Break, student volunteers are traveling to Grenada and  South Texas.

  • Meet the 2015 PHAST Bloggers.
  • Read about the PHAST bloggers’ experiences in Grenada.
  • Read about the PHAST bloggers’ experiences in Texas.
  • Read about the PHAST bloggers’ experiences in Mississippi.
  • Read all of the bloggers’ recent posts.

For spring break 2015, PHAST: Grenada partnered with the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health to create capacity building global field experiences for students at both institutions.

The students worked on one of three public health projects:

  • At the Cedar Homes for Abused Women and Children, a PHAST team conducted a training needs assessment with key stakeholders to identify key training areas and modalities.
  • At the Grenada Planned Parenthood Association, a PHAST team examined data and developed an instrument to measure the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions regarding unsafe reproductive health practices.
  • Two students worked at the Grenada Ministry of Education-Drug Control Secretariat to examine gendered expressions of alcohol consumption.

Starting in the winter term, the previous PHAST South Texas field experience was been incorporated in a course – Public Health 615: Public Health in Action. Nine students attended 7 class sessions to prepare for the weeklong field experience in Texas. The field experience was in partnership with the University of Texas Pan-American and the University of Texas School of Public Health – Brownsville.

  • Two students worked on a variety of projects related to the Tu Salud Si Cuenta Community Wide Campaign in Brownsville. Activities included content analysis of promotion of health through mass media, development of a promotional video for the campaign, and structured observations of environmental change to promote physical activity.
  • Two students worked at Headstart programs to explore parental awareness of early childhood intervention programs. The interviews were conducted primarily in Spanish.
  • Two students conducted focus groups with older adults to assess their knowledge of preventive health services and to examine their perceptions of provider attitudes towards older adults.
  • Three students explored how consumers understand and experience the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

The PHAST students were be accompanied by faculty and staff from the Office of Public Health Practice and the SPH Office of Global Public Health.

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