A Message for New Graduates

A message from NJPHA President, Kevin McNally

This is a message for anyone who recently received a degree related to Public Health. On behalf of the members of the New Jersey Public Health Association, I congratulate you on this achievement.

To those of you who are working public health professionals who went back to school to earn an advanced degree, I acknowledge your commitment to improve your knowledge and skills in order to contribute even more to the health of our population than you already have.

To those of you for whom this degree is the beginning of a career in public health, I welcome you to the public health community. For public health is just that. More than just a job, public health is a community of dedicated individuals who seek to combine their efforts to the vision of healthy communities, and better health for everyone who lives and works in them. If you are willing to dedicate yourself to this vision, and to bring your passion to everything that you do, it can be among the most rewarding careers that you could choose.

You have chosen a particularly challenging and at the same time crucial time to enter the public health arena. You’ve learned about the challenges we face in your classes: new and re-emerging diseases, environmental hazards, increases in chronic diseases due to lifestyle choices, a changing climate, and global transportation that means that a disease outbreak half a world away can be in our own communities tomorrow. And at the same time we must deal with all these with limited and too often shrinking resources.

And yet many of the challenges you will face in your careers are unknown to you today, just as many of today’s challenges – AIDS, Ebola, bioterrorism, and climate change – were unknown when I received my Master’s Degree 40 years ago. Just one year ago, few of us had heard of the Zika virus. So earning your degree, while a major milestone, is not the end of your education. A commitment to lifelong learning is more vital now than it has ever been.

I have just one piece of advice. In my experience, the best way to integrate yourself into the community that is public health is by joining and participating in a professional association. Through this participation you will get to meet and collaborate with other public health people and find opportunities for networking and professional development. In particular, the organization that brings together people from all aspects of public health is the American Public Health Association. Our organization, the New Jersey Public Health Association is an affiliate of APHA. NJPHA is made up of dedicated people, like you, who are committed to public health and to making a difference.

I am pleased to be able to offer to all recent graduates a free one-year membership in NJPHA. To take advantage of this offer, please go to our website - www.njpha.org – click on “Membership”, and sign up using the “New Professional” category.

Congratulations and good luck!

Hurricane Preparedness Week: It Only Takes One

It only takes one storm to change your community. Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 15–21, is an opportunity to encourage preparedness on the part of individuals, groups, and organizations in our communities. Hurricanes and tropical storms cause high winds, flooding, and storm surges, which can have great effects on public health. Disease outbreaks, contaminated water, mold, and mildew are just a few of the issues local health departments (LHDs) must be ready to tackle in the wake of a storm.

Climate change is impacting the weather systems that create hurricanes. Experts predict that climate change will provide more frequent and intense storms. For the 2016 hurricane season, forecasters currently predict a total of 14 named tropical storms and eight hurricanes, four of which are expected to make landfall.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offers tips and related links to help individuals prepare for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane. Another great resource is #HurricaneStrong, a national hurricane resilience initiative by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, and NOAA. #HurricaneStrong encourages individuals to make a preparedness plan: know their evacuation zone, make sure their insurance coverage includes natural disasters, build a disaster supply kit, take steps to protect their homes, and learn how they can contribute to their community’s preparedness as well. Tap into the effort to engage and inform members of your community through #HurricaneStrong’s social media campaign.A prepared public health system can mean the difference between life and death in a disaster situation. Hurricane Preparedness Week is a great opportunity for us to take stock and be proactive in preparing ourselves and our communities to safely weather whatever storms may come.

[Excerpted from NACCHO Voice from the National Association of County and City Health Officials]

Public Health Advocacy Workshop May 19

WHAT: How Do We Advocate to Improve Health? An interactive learning session to improve our ability to make positive changes for health in our communities.

WHEN: Thursday, May 19, 2016, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

WHERE: Mercer County College

WHO: Public Health Professionals, Community advocates, and all who are interested in advancing policy changes to improve health Continuing education credits available for Health Officers, Environmental Health Specialists, Health Educators and other NJ licensed public health professionals.

REGISTRATION AVAILABLE ON NJLMN. Speakers to include an NJ state Legislator and experienced lobbyists and advocates. Please see details in the documents attached.

This meeting is approved for 6.25 Public Health CE credits.  CHES credits are pending.  If you want to received CE credits for attending the workshop, you need to both register on NJLMN and complete and send in the attached registration form.  Registration on NJLMN alone will not register you for the meeting.

Advocacy Meeting agenda final


PHACE registration form - final