Category: Uncategorized

UIC Students Attend 2017 Making Lifelong Connections Annual Meeting

UIC students Müge Chavdar, Erin Howes, Paula Satariano, Janine Salameh, and Izumi Chihara (left to right) attend the 2017 MLC Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

By: Erin Howes, MPH Candidate in Community Health Sciences and Maternal and Child Health

This April I had the incredible opportunity, thanks to the UIC- Center of Excellence of Maternal and Child Health, to experience two firsts: visit Seattle and attend an academic conference! The 2017 Making Lifelong Connections (MLC), held in Seattle, Washington on April 5th-7th, 2017, hosted current and former trainees from the various Maternal and Child Health (MCH) training programs. MLC provided a platform for personal and professional networking and to share ideas on how to advocate for MCH populations.

The conference kicked off with any student’s dream – drinks, appetizers, and poster presentations. Listening to other student poster presentations was an informative experience where I learned so much and felt inspired for my own capstone project, which I will conduct next year.  One of my favorite presentations was from a social worker in Seattle focusing on refugee health. This presentation drew my attention because of my interests in public health. I currently work at an FQHC in Chicago, Esperanza Health Center, which is located the community of Little Village. This community is predominantly immigrant and most residents are of Mexican decent. I was interested to see how the health status of immigrant communities in Seattle differ from those in Chicago. I learned about the healthcare system in Washington, the different populations they serve, and  how the differences in healthcare policy affect women, children and families.  It’s amazing how different maternal and child health issues can look from state to state and I never would have learned about Washington’s needs without meeting these fellow trainees.

Attending the MLC also gave me a deeper appreciation for the families that are impacted by MCH programs and services. During another portion of the meeting, I had the opportunity to meet a mother who has children with a special healthcare need. This woman collaborates with the LEND (Leadership Education in Nerodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) Program. She shared her story and informed us that she is a foster parent to 7 children and that 4  of these children have disabilities. Beyond being a foster parent, she is also a community health worker and a researcher.  She used her experiences to inform her research and to understand the caregiver experience. She also examined the needs of children and youth with special healthcare needs as they transition to adulthood and their higher risk of homelessness. I appreciated the opportunity to hear this narrative because it provided me the context to appreciate the importance of  programs that serve families who have children with special healthcare needs and how multiple systems should come together to protect vulnerable population.

Because this conference places a strong focus on building connections, many of the events allowed for interaction and reflection. A key activity that continued throughout the conference was the “Ring of Connections” in which every participant was provided with their own personal business cards to trade with new connections throughout the conference. This served as an icebreaker and allowed people to get to know each other, while also having the contact information to maintain communication following the conference. We also did some speed-networking, which allowing us to meet dozens of trainees in minutes.

Finally, the conference provided three wonderful, thought-provoking keynote speeches from booming professionals in the MCH field. One speech made a profound impact on me was given by Lauren Raskin Ramos, the director of the Division of MCH Workforce Development under HRSA. She spoke about her professional journey, taught us about the possibilities of our careers, and the power of making change by serving in government. One piece of her speech that stood out to me was her advice to seek people who see you as a leader. Sometimes we need to look for outside associations and organizations for leadership roles. Lauren encouraged us to pursue those skills and opportunities if they are not in front of you, and to be the kind of leader you would follow. I appreciated the reminder from Lauren who motivated me to re-evaluate my strategy to strengthen my leadership skills, and provided me an example of how to combine my passion for MCH with my goal to become a leader in public health.

I truly enjoyed this conference and I look forward to connecting with MCH leaders in the future!

To learn more about Making Lifeling Connections, click here.


Women’s Pelvic Health 101

As women, sometimes it feels like the only time we acknowledge our pelvic region is when we’re talking about having babies. But how much do we really know about our pelvic health; about what is going on “below our belts”?

If you’re like me and many other American women, the answer probably is “not much”. Pelvic health gets a bad rap because it’s at the center of stigmatized topics like elimination (pooping and peeing), sexual health, and reproduction. Stigma makes us uncomfortable and when we’re uncomfortable we tend to avoid whatever it was that made us feel that way. Unfortunately, however, not talking about a critical part of our health leaves us in the dark about our bodies and this lack of knowledge can negatively impact our well-being and prevent us from seeking the support and information we need.

One person who isn’t afraid to talk about women’s pelvic health is Missy Lavender and the wonderful team at the Women’s Health Foundation (WHF). WHF is a non-profit organization committed to improving women’s pelvic health and wellness by driving cutting edge research initiatives, developing and offering community based education and fitness programs, fostering conversation and creating communities for women, serving as a national resource on pelvic wellness issues. Their goal is to turn the conversation of pelvic health from a sisterhood of silence to a sisterhood of strength where women feel connected to their bodies and are empowered to live fuller, richer lives. WHF is Chicago-based but are currently leading the charge nationally on women’s pelvic health and wellness. They host educational events, wrote a pelvic health book for teenage girls (Below Your Belt: How to be Queen of Your Pelvic Region), update an amazing community blog with tons of pelvic health information and news, in addition to countless other efforts and initiatives. Their website is a goldmine for all things pelvic health. After spending a lot of time with the Below Your Belt book and WHF resources, we’ve compiled a list of some pelvic health basics to get you familiar with what’s going on “below your belt”:

  • Our pelvic region includes our pelvic bones, pelvic floor, abdominal and back muscles, and digestive, elimination, and reproductive organs. All of these muscles, bones, and organs are essential for physical and reproductive wellness, sexual satisfaction, and healthy digestion.1
  • Proper peeing behaviors can keep your bladder, vagina, and pelvic floor healthier for longer. Here are some important reminders:
    • Always wipe from front to back to prevent spreading bacteria. 1
    • For optimal elimination (pooping/peeing), it is important to relax your pelvic floor muscles, so when you go to the bathroom, make sure you sit all the way down1
    • Rocking from side to side on your tailbone will help relax your pelvic floor and empty all the urine from your bladder. 1
    • Only go to the bathroom when you really have to go1
    • Always drink plenty of water. 1
  • There are a lot of different things that influence our pooping behavior. Here are some tips to help keep you ‘regular’:
    • Eating fiber helps with healthy digestion. A good rule of thumb for how many grams of fiber to get each day is: 10 grams of fiber + your age = # grams of fiber you should eat per day. 1
    • Squatting or using a Squatty Potty is the optimal position for pooping because the squatting position is known to relax the pelvic floor, therefore requiring less pressure and strain and making elimination easier. 1
    • Body movement = bowel movement1 Increased physical activity is known to increase regularity.
    • Always drink plenty of water1
  • When it comes to feminine hygiene, avoid vagina spray. 1 Your vagina is like a self-cleaning oven, so all you need to keep things clean is some warm water.1

This post only covers a small amount of what pelvic health is, but we hope it sparks your interest in this essential subject. To learn more about the WHF and pelvic health check out the WHF website and community blog.

Website: http://womenshealthfoundation.org

Community Blog: http://womenshealthfoundation.org/category/blog/

If you’re interested in teaching your daughter, sister, cousins, or anyone you love about pelvic health, be sure to check out the Below Your Belt book.

http://womenshealthfoundation.org/below-your-belt/

If you’re interested in the Squatty Potty or purchasing a Squatty Potty, check out their website:

http://www.squattypotty.com/

Written by Michelle Chavdar, Research Assistant and UIC MPH Candidate

________________

References

1Lavender, M., & Donatelli Ihm, J. (2015). In Elizabeth Wood (Ed.), Below your belt: How to be queen of your pelvic region. Chicago, IL: Women’s Health Foundation.


Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic Re-Cap

On Wednesday, January 27th the Public Health Student Association, EverThrive Illinois, and EverThrive Illinois Vaccination Initiative hosted a movie screening to honor Cervical Health Awareness month. The CoE in MCH wanted to re-cap this enlightening event in case you weren’t able to join us.

Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic is a documentary that shares the stories of five women who were diagnosed with cervical cancer. Each of the women share their unique struggles and triumphs with the disease and offer narratives through which the audience is able to understand the lived experience of individuals with cervical cancer. The film also does an excellent job weaving education about HPV and cervical cancer throughout the story leaving the audience more knowledgeable and informed.

HPV can be a somewhat confusing virus to understand. While the movie did an excellent job educating about the virus, unanswered questions still remained. Following the screening, there was a question and answer session with Dr. Rachel Caskey, MD; Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UIC. Audience members were provided a safe space to ask questions related to HPV and cervical cancer. Here are some important take-aways:

  1. HPV, or human papilloma virus, is a group of over 120 related viruses that are spread by skin to skin contact. Each group is classified as a given number based on the type of disease the type may cause.
  2. Men and women can contract and transmit HPV.
  3. While sexual intercourse is a very efficient mode of transmission for the virus, HPV can be transmitted by any skin to skin contact.
  4. HPV is a life course disease, meaning that men and women are at risk for the virus all throughout the course of their lives.
  5. It is estimated that about 80% of adults will contract at least one type of genital HPV by the time they are 50.
  6. Some types of HPV can lead to cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common, but HPV is also linked to anal, penile, head and neck cancers.
  7. HPV screenings and tests are available for women as a pap screening and HPV test.
  8. The HPV vaccine is available for males and females and is covered by all healthinsurance for individuals 9-26-years of age. The HPV vaccines targets the types of HPV most linked to cervical cancers. The vaccine is administered in three doses over a 6-month period.
  9. The HPV vaccine is most effective when delivered at a young age (about 11-12 years).

Dr. Caskey Answering HPV Questions HPV Event Audience Picture

On a local level, the fight for HPV vaccination is being strongly supported by EverThrive Illinois. For those who might not know about EverThrive Illinois, EverThrive was formerly known as the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of Illinois. EverThrive Illinois is a non profit located in Chicago that works to improve the health of women, children, and families over the lifespan through community engagement, partnerships, policy analysis, education, and advocacy. Their main areas of focus include child and adolescent health, maternal and infant mortality, healthy lifestyle, health reform, and of course immunization. I had the chance to connect with Kelly McKenna, Manager of EverThrive’s Immunization Initiative, to learn more about HPV immunization efforts in Chicago. Kelly shared that EverThrive’s Immunization Initiative is tackling immunization efforts from all directions. They participate in grassroots style outreach, offer technical assistance and training, provide both in person and webinar trainings for individuals involved in the medical field, analyze immunization policies to support and propose new policies, and coordinate stakeholder meetings to have conversations about how to advance vaccination efforts. Kelly considers EverThrive Illinois Immunization Initiative a small piece of a collaborative effort.

EverThrive in partnership with the Chicago Health Department and other key stakeholders were able to collaborate in the successful launching of a full scale HPV prevention campaign including marketing efforts, policy changes, and outreach efforts in the city of Chicago. Kelly shared that HPV immunization rates in the city have increased since the advocacy efforts took place. Kelly discussed that the success of the efforts here in Chicago are a motivator to enact similar efforts for the entire state. To make marketing as convenient, consistent, and as accurate as possible, EverThrive Illinois has made a free HPV marketing and outreach toolkit available on their website. Kelly said the most important thing EverThrive’s Immunization Initiative wants the public to know is that the HPV vaccination is a cancer vaccine and by increasing successful immunizations, we are reducing our population’s risk of getting cancer.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Sign

For more information about advocating for cervical health check out our earlier post: http://www.coeinmch.uic.edu/4-ways-to-celebrate-our-cervical-health-all-year-long/

To learn more, check out the following resources:

Photo/image credit & courtesy of Katelyn Talsma, Communications Coordinator at EverThrive Illinois and EverThrive Illinois Vaccination Initiative.

Written by Michelle Chavdar, Research Assistant and UIC MPH Candidate

 


Save the Children Event at UIC: Uniting for Maternal and Child Health

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Maternal and Child Health Program (MCHP) partnered with Save the Children, UIC’s Global Health Initiative, The University of Chicago’s Global Health Initiative, and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Center for Global Health to host a seminar at UIC on October 14th.  This was part of a three part lecture series where each university hosted an event that addressed various topics related to maternal and child health.

The keynote speaker was Steven Wall, MD, MPH, MSW, Senior Advisor, Save the Children, who discussed a report that was recently released by Save the Children entitled, “Surviving the First Day: State of the World’s Mothers 2013”.

Then the seminar focused on connecting the global to the local, and there were brief presentations by the following stakeholders:

  • Brenda Jones, DHSc, MSN, APN-BC, Deputy Director, Office of Women’s Health, Illinois Department of Public Health
  • Janine Lewis, MPH, Executive Director, EverThrive Illinois
  • Rosemary White Traut, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor, Department of Women, Children and Family Health Science, UIC College of Nursing

The MCHP would like thank all our partners for such a great event!  It was a pleasure working with all of you and we look forward to working with you in the future!

ImageImageImage

 

 

 


UIC Management Skills Series: March 2013-Feburary 2014

Program Description:
Management Skills Series is a professional development initiative designed to strengthen the participant’s basic and intermediate level management skills. The curriculum encompasses 12 topics offered on a monthly basis for three hours in person at the UIC School of Public Health.  Sessions can be taken on a stand-alone basis or as a certificate program.

Sessions will be offered in a workshop format and include an information-packed overview of the workshop topic as well as participatory learning activities such as case studies, role-playing, and group discussion. Participants will have the opportunity to build their knowledge base on management practices, policies and principles, sharpen comprehension of complex topics, and practice ways to apply new knowledge as a manager in a public health setting.

Workshops:

Foundations of Managing an Organization
03/15/2013    Introduction to Management Principles
04/19/2013    Vision, Mission, and Strategic Planning
05/17/2013    Building an Effective Board of Directors/Advisory Board

Increasing Your Management Effectiveness
06/21/2013    Understanding Communication Styles
07/19/2013    Building and Motivating Teams
08/16/2013    Conflict Resolution
09/20/2013    Overcoming Burnout

Managing Operations      
10/18/2013    Planning and Managing a Sustainable Budget
11/15/2013    Project Management
12/13/2013    Continuous Quality Improvement

Managing the 21st Century Organization  
01/17/2014    Increasing Impact through Collaboration and Partnerships
02/21/2014    Using Social Media for Marketing and Advocacy

** All the sessions are from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm**

Cost:
$450 for all 12
$50 for each session

Click here for session descriptions and to register (Note: There are three tabs at the top of the page to choose from, click on the tab to view the information you would like to see)

Scholarship Eligibility—MCHP Alumni:
Scholarships will cover the cost of all 12 sessions. We will be giving out 2 scholarships to MCH/MCHP EPI alumni. In order to qualify for the scholarships you must be an alumna of the Maternal and Child Health Program or the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program.  Ideal candidates would have 2-4 years of work experience and be able to attend all 12 workshops.

Application Requirements:
Please submit your resume and a short statement describing your interest in the program.

Please address the following questions:
1) Why do you want to participate in this program?  2) What goal(s) are you hoping to achieve through this program?

Please email your resume and your statement to Jaime Klaus, MA, at jaimkl@uic.edu by February 18, 2013.  You will be notified if you received the scholarship by February 20, 2013.

Thank you for the interest in the program!

Please note: Continuing education units (CEU’s) are not available for this program Participants will receive a certificate of completion if they sign up for all 12 courses. However, he/she is absent for more than 3 workshops out of the 12 he/she will not receive the certificate.

 

 

Sponsored by:  MidAmerica Public Health Training Center, Great Cities Institute at UIC, and Maternal and Child Health Program.

 

 


Conference Opportunity for Current and Former MCH Trainees

Have you received training from the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau?  If so please read below.  This is a really great conference and opportunity.  It will take place in Chicago.

**********************************************************************************************************************************************************

Dear current and former MCHB trainees,

We would like you to participate in a unique opportunity to build leadership skills and meet other MCHB current and former trainees. We hope you will consider joining us at this exciting event!  Applications are due January 25, 2013.

April 4-5, 2013, the University of Wisconsin Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC) and the Wisconsin Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) along with the University of Alabama at Birmingham PPC will be co-hosting an interdisciplinary leadership meeting entitled “Making Lifelong Connections: Leadership, Networking and Career Development for MCHB Trainees”.  This meeting provides a forum for current and former MCH trainees to work together to enhance their leadership skills, network, and develop professional connections.

The meeting will begin mid-day on Thursday and will conclude with a wrap up reception on Friday.  Given the nature of the meeting, participants will need to commit to the entire program and the two nights of lodging.

Lodging on Thursday and Friday as well as food (snacks and dinner on Thursday, and breakfast, lunch and an appetizer reception on Friday) will be provided.

Meeting attendees are responsible for working with their program to cover transportation and any other costs. The discounted hotel room rate ($149.00) will be extended three days before and after the meeting, should participants wish to stay longer at their own expense. For those who are accepted, there will be a registration fee of $25.00, to cover the cost of conference materials.

Topics for abstracts or presentations can include current or past projects related to MCH which fall into the following categories:  Research, Professional Development, Program/Policy Development or a Case Study.  The planning committee will review and select participants to invite.  The application packets include the abstract review form that will be used for evaluation and selection.

 

Please make sure that you have included and/or completed the following:

•       2013 MLC Application Questions

o       A brief statement of why you would like to attend the meeting based on the MCH Leadership Competencies.

o       A single page, double spaced 12 font abstract

•       The release form which allows your abstract and photo to be used in printed conference materials or electronic media.

•       A photo that can be included in the conference materials.  Photos cannot be professional photos unless you have obtained a release from the photographer.

All applications are due by noon CST on Friday January 25, 2013.

 

Only complete applications will be considered for review.

 

Here is the link to the application:     https://uwmadison.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3rS6n35TpD8siSF

 

The application process is competitive and space is limited.  Preference will be given to first time attendees.  We will strive to have diverse representation from the various programs across the country.  Accepted registrants will be notified on February 15, 2013.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email:

•       Mary Marcus mmarcus@uwhealth.org

•       Craig Becker cbecker@uwhealth.org

 

We look forward to welcoming you in Chicago at the third annual Making Life Long Connections meeting!  Like us on Facebook:  Making Lifelong Connections for MCH Trainees.

 

Sincerely,

 

The Making Lifelong Connections planning committee

 

Mary Marcus, MS, RD, CSP, CD

Co-Director and Nutrition Faculty

University of Wisconsin Pediatric Pulmonary Center

K4/938 600 Highland Avenue

Madison, WI 53792

follow us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UWPPC


UIC MCH Leadership Retreat – July 2012

Leading in Challenging Times: Innovations & Inspiration
Hi everyone!  In collaboration with our National MCH Leadership Retreat Planning Committee, the UIC MCH Training Program has created a  leadership development retreat that you will love.  The type of leadership development work we try to integrate into the MCH-workforce is based in large part on building strengths, focusing on what is working and innovations, creating lasting relationships so that we can harness individual and collective wisdom about what it will take to improve MCH, and increasing emotional intelligence.   As many of you may have heard me say before, given two people with the same exact skill set and knowledge base, the personal with the higher EQ will be the stronger, more impactful leader.

 

In our Retreat, which will take place July 22-24, 2012 at the Hyatt Lodge in Oakbrook, IL, we are excited to have leadership expert, Dr. Stephen Bogdewic with us.  In addition to being a leadership expert and a key player in the administration of the IUPUI College of Medicine including professional development of faculty and staff, Steve is also a family therapist.  Steve is down-to-earth, practical, funny, and a gifted facilitator.  You will not be sorry that you participated in this program and you will be changed and inspired about what is possible when you return home.  The program will change you which means the way you do your work is likely to be impacted in a positive way!

 

We hope you will consider attending and look forward to seeing you!

 
To view the Retreat agenda, click on the following link:
http://www.uic.edu/sph/mch/documents/AgendaFinal.pdf.

*Please note the event starts on Sunday Night

Registration
Professionals: $325 (early registration ends on 07/06/2012) or $425 (late
registration)
Students: $150

Click on the following link to register
http://www.regonline.com/retreat2012

For more information visit our website at
http://www.uic.edu/sph/mch/mch_leadership_conference.htm


MCH Seminar–Self-Care: Practical Ways to Move from “Should” to “Good” Habits

On February 23, 2012 Nikki Lively a Clinical Social Worker in the Women’s Mental Health program in the Department of Psychiatry at the UIC Medical Center gave a presentation about self care.  The workshop covered key obstacles to healthy self-care, and provided tips and experiential exercises that participants could choose from to build their own customized “tool kit” for taking care of themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

 

Click here  to download the powerpoint presentation and the handouts

Click here to download the audio recording of the workshop (please note that the first 40 minutes of the 90 minute presentation was not recorded. We apologize, but we experienced some technical difficulties)

 

Relevant Links:

 

“The operative word is “practice”.  Practicing self-care is not the path of least resistance; it is a conscious choice you make again, and again, and again…” ~ Nikki Lively

 


UIC MCHP Retreat Keynote Speaker: Dr. Stephen Bogdewic

This year at the UIC MCH Retreat the leadership training will be facilitated by Dr. Stephen Bogdewic, the Executive Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs & Professional Development at the Indiana University School of Medicine.  He is an innovative, thought leader. He is connected with the human spirit and our core desires to make an impact. He has taken what he teaches and implemented it in practice to help change the face of the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Learn more about Dr. Bogdewic by reading a couple articles that he wrote or listening to his radio show Sound Medicine.

 

 


‘Scaling Up School and Community Partnerships’

On July 22-24, 2012, the UIC Maternal and Child Health Program will host the 5th annual UIC MCH Leadership Retreat:  Leadership, Legacy, and Community:  A Retreat to Advance MCH Scholarship and Practice.  Our focus this year is on Leading in Challenging Times:  Inspiration and Innovations.  In developing a session on Innovations in Health, Wellbeing, and Healthy Living, I was introduced to the Coalition for Community Schools by a new colleague who works with the Evansville Vandeburgh School Corporation in southern Indiana.  I was also introduced to the ‘Scaling Up School and Community Partnerships.’  I am already inspired and am looking forward to learning more about this type of work during a panel discussion at the July Retreat.