National Public Health Week: FAU organizations are holding events to spread awareness

National Public Health Week, April 4-10, is helping communities come together to show that access towards free health care is available everywhere.


Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Samantha Sheradsky, Staff Writer

During National Public Health Week (NPHW), April 4-10, FAU is organizing events on campus.

NPHW’s national theme this year is “Public Health is Where You Are.” Their goal is to spread a message that everyone is equal and deserving of quality health care.

NPHW plans to keep the event informative throughout the U.S. with daily topics such as racism, climate change, and mental wellness.

Senior health science major Krissa De Vera hopes to help those who are struggling with their physical health. Her goal of becoming a doctor is to provide safety for her patients.

“Being a health science major definitely helped me become more aware of the effect of public health, and how it’s present in my daily life due to the classes I’ve taken and am currently taking this semester,” De Vera said.

Through her education, De Vera observed how people going through mental and physical problems are affected every day,but many are unaware that there is free help around the corner.

Resources like Student Health Services (SHS) and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are available on campus for free for students who may not have the financial means.

According to psychology major Moica Jean-Pierre, mental health does not only affect an individual, but generations after, if left untreated.

Growing up, Jean-Pierre lived in a community where mental health was not a priority. She saw how the people within her community were heavily impacted by mental health. This drove her into majoring in psychology and helping those who are in need of assistance.

“I want to touch many different specializations in the psychology field like clinical, research, and adolescence,” Jean-Pierre said.

Dr. Benjamin has worked for APHA for 20 years in trying to destigmatize receiving mental and physical health. (Dr. Georges Benjamin)

Her main goal is to bring awareness to public health towards the Haitian community and show the racial biases in healthcare.

A study done by Race IAT, a race-based test, shows that 66% of physicians showed some bias and 51% had moderate-to-strong levels of bias against Hispanics. This test also shows that 43% of physicians had moderate-to-strong levels of bias against Black people.

“It is because of these issues that I really got into psychology,” Jean-Pierre said.

Jean-Pierre believes that FAU students can spread awareness by listening to other communities and attending events dedicated towards public health.

“Students can show up to more events that bring awareness to such issues,” Jean-Pierre said.

For over 25 years, American Public Health Association (APHA) has been dedicating the first week of April towards bringing awareness to public health and the health issues of the nation. They are collaborating with college campuses around the world where students can become more aware of the health of others.

Over 25,000 members receive helpful resources from APHA such as health care, equity, and public health infrastructure, which will help improve their health.

“Our mission is to improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status,” said APHA’s Executive Director Georges Benjamin.

Benjamin and his team work hard to inform the public on health promotion, disease prevention, and how social determinants could risk the health of individuals. All health issues that are addressed are backed up by policies in science.

“Our values reflect the core beliefs of our members, from all disciplines of public health,” Benjamin said. “These values promote healthy individuals in healthy communities; the use of science and evidence-based decision-making, and active efforts to achieve health equity.”

Samantha Sheradsky is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM her on Twitter @samtheham132.