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 2014 summer, student volunteers are traveling to Mississippi. This is the ninth PHAST trip to the region, and continues a partnership with the University of Mississippi and its Center for Population Studies. PHAST is returning to the Gulf Coast for the first time since 2009, where students will continue the work that was established with Visions of Hope (VoH). VoH is a community-based organization dedicated to building strong and stable communities through empowerment, educational opportunities, asset development, health care and leadership training.
Four PHAST and four University of Mississippi students will interview VoH clients and non-clients to assess VoH’s services and to assess the needs of residents that have been challenged, not only from hurricane Katrina, but also the BP oil spill.
The PHAST students will be accompanied by faculty and staff from the Office of Public Health Practice and the SPH Office of Global Public Health.