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UBUNTU: “I Am Because We Are”: Building a Professional Community for Black Ladies in Public Health

10 Aug

“Public Health provides an aspirational combination of interdisciplinary work, purpose that far exceeds profits, and an opportunity to make real, tangible, change in the world. For Black women, choosing a career in Public Health often guarantees these ambitions juxtaposed to unique complexities of identity and the profession.

Consider a black woman working in Public Health, undoubtedly, she understands [and is constantly reminded] of her membership in populations often disproportionately affected by disease and death. Simultaneously, she bears witness to the occupational penalty, documented as wage gaps and concrete ceilings, despite extraordinary educational achievements. Consequently, these misfortunes are exacerbated with additional intersections of marginalized identity (disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, immigrant population, etc.).

If the data about our population tells us anything, it’s that health and occupational inequities are real experiences for Black women. However, we address these issues as mutually exclusive paradigms that should neither coalesce nor affect public health success. While this is expected, Black women are left to navigate these issues alone.

Black Ladies in Public Health (BLiPH) grew out of this double consciousness. BLiPH created a place nestled between the professional and personal woes of occupational and health inequity. We provide safe-space that does not yet exist in the broader world. BLiPH is the sanctuary where we unpack issues out in the open, through healthy discourse and transformational thinking. We are honest and vulnerable in ways that are restorative to the collective; even the things left unspoken are often understood. We strive to add a more personable approach to engaging and elevating members. We have curated an environment where our identity, our experiences, our education, and our vision are central to the solutions that will transform our realities. We are literally leveraging our status as Black Ladies in Public Health to positively impact the health and success of Black Ladies around the world.”

Dr. Jasmine Ward

Black Ladies in Public Health (BLiPH) was conceived August of 2016, by Dr. Jasmine Ward to create a virtual space to cultivate relationships and promote collaboration in public health scholarship and service. However, the most valuable characteristic of BLiPH became (1) the restorative nature of personal and professional discourse about issues related to public health and (2) the collective resolve to place self-care central to the ideology of the group.

Now approaching the second anniversary, BLiPH is working towards the vision of realizing a more engaged, valued, and empowered membership! BLiPH engages approximately 7,000 members on five social media platforms and fourteen private groups. Top representation comes from cities such as Atlanta, GA, Washington, DC, New York, NY, Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, Birmingham, AL, New Orleans, LA, and Boston, MA. Most members are based in the United States, however, approximately 10% represent the global community of public health. Top represented countries outside of US include South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, United Kingdom, Kenya, Canada, Botswana, Ghana, and Uganda.

BLiPH has formally hosted nineteen local networking events, five webinars, several live sessions, and a signature networking social during the 2017 APHA conference. Moving beyond the networking and professional development activities, 2018 ushered in new beginnings, including the start of BLiPH research and service initiatives. One early example includes a digital marketing campaign conducted in February and March of 2018, during Black history and women’s history months, respectively. The campaign — the E.V.E. Awards — was a first attempt to officially recognize and honor Black Ladies in Public Health, past and present.

As the founder, Dr. Ward has been recognized for her commitment to digital social solutions that support collective impact. In 2018, she was accepted to seven professional public health conferences and several community events across the United States. She received national press recognition, a variety of awards, and most recently, a grant to pilot BLiPH focused research. Representing BLiPH, Dr. Ward has provided consulting and technical assistance to public and private-sector organizations with training focused on social media engagement, grant writing, and cultivating cultural competence in public health workforce development.

BLiPH is beta testing, evaluating, and improving our new-forever home; BLiPH.org. BLiPH.org is positioned to catalyze the growth of the BLiPH network and support the actionable pursuit toward the elimination of occupational and health inequities. BLiPH continues to develop innovative digital strategies to address and engage collective interest of the membership. Activities include:

  • Demystifying the work of public health professionals (particularly in the Black community),
  • Recognizing current and historical contributions of our foremothers,
  • Forming professional/leadership development opportunities,
  • Creating access to culturally responsive public health training,
  • Building mentor/mentee relationships,
  • Crowdsourcing public health solutions,
  • Defining health policies,
  • Hosting networking events,
  • Addressing issues that disproportionally impact the health of Black people, women, and more specifically, Black women.

Be sure to look out for BLiPH at the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues (SAAPHI) 2018 conference in San Diego, where they will highlight organizations using digital platforms to address public health through a social justice lens. We will also host the second annual BLiPH networking social at Sparks Gallery on November 11th, immediately following the APHA opening session. (Doors open at 7pm)Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – @BLiPH16, #BLiPH16 or #BliPH

For more information about BLiPH please email Dr. Jasmine Ward at ladyjward@bliph.org.

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SAAPHI Scientific Committee Dissertation Award

23 Aug

 

Purpose

To provide funding and recognition to outstanding doctoral students who are in public health or other health-related fields and a demonstrated interest in contributing to the field of health disparities research as evidenced by a dissertation topic of relevance to people of the African diaspora.

Number of awards

Three $300 dissertation awards will be granted.

Eligibility Requirements

● The applicant must be a student enrolled either full or part-time (for a minimum 6 of credit hours) who is actively pursuing a doctoral degree in public health or other health-related field
● The applicant must have successfully defended the dissertation proposal and have received written approval to begin dissertation research
● The topic of the dissertation must be related to the mission of SAAPHI which is to:
○ To initiate and assist in the improvement, development, maintenance, and utilization of appropriate databases for the understanding of health problems and needs of African American communities;

○ To promote the utilization of scientific information on African Americans in program and policy decisions; and
○ To formulate and advocate appropriate public policies for health promotion and disease prevention among African Americans.
● Recipients of other external grants are not eligible (e.g. F31, T32)

Application Instructions

Please send an electronic copy of all application materials as a single PDF file, collated in the order below to the SAAPHI Scientific Committee to saaphiscientific@gmail.com.

● Resume or CV

● A descriptive summary of the dissertation research and significant aspects of the work, suitable for an audience of educated lay people (500 words maximum).

● A budget or detailed description for the use of the funds

● A reference letter from a thesis or dissertation advisor evaluating the merits of the proposed project and discussing the contributions of the student to his/her field (i.e., presentations, papers, awards, or other evidence of scholarly superiority), and a statement confirming that the students dissertation approval has been approved.

Deadline

The deadline for submission of all materials to SAAPHI is September 26, 2014.

Online Conference on Uterine Fibroids

9 Jun

The Fibroids Project (http://www.fibroidsproject.com/) started with one simple mission, “Make Life Better for Women with Fibroids”. I’m happy to say that we held true to that mission and we are about to host the first live Online Virtual Fibroids Conference on June 14th. This will create an unprecedented opportunity for women to connect with leading national and local physicians from the comfort of their own home or, on the go, on their mobile device.

Uterine Fibroids is an issue that impacts 70% of women and accounts for 50% of hysterectomies per year in the US. African-American women are disproportionately impacted with severe symptoms of fibroids.

We believe that patient education is the key to providing women with more options. We would like to offer our conference at a discounted rate to your members.

 

*The conference is $29 and we have created a special promotional code, which will drop the price to $15 for your network. The discount code is: @FibroidsProject

 

Registration: http://www.fibroidsproject.com/register

Website/Infographic: http://www.fibroidsproject.com/

When: June 14th – 9am – 2pm EST

Where: Online

 

SAVE THE DATE: SAAPHI 2014 Pre-Conference Meeting

19 May

2014 SAAPHI Save-The-Date

SAVE THE DATE!!

SAAPHI 2014 Meeting.

Saturday November 15, 2014  8:30AM – 12:30PM

Theme: The Relationship of Place & Health Throughout The African Diaspora.

May is American Stroke Month

13 May

May is American Stroke Month, which is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s annual campaign to increase stroke awareness and to educate Americans that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable.  While stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and leading cause of disability in the U.S., many Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern.  We have made a lot of progress, but we still have a ways to go to end stroke and need your help!

 

Partner With The American Heart/The American Stroke Association!

A growing number of individuals and organizations are helping spread American Stroke Month across the nation and throughout the world. From families to healthcare professionals, corporations, national organizations, professional societies, and communities, each partner plays a critical role in helping create healthier communities. Join the campaign and let’s work together to end stroke!

 

Get more information here: http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/AmericanStrokeMonth/American-Stroke-Month_UCM_459942_SubHomePage.jspImage

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SAAPHI WEBINAR: Innovative Strategies for investigating & reducing stress-health related disparities in African American women” April 30, 2014 1-2:30PM (PST)

6 Apr

SAAPHI WEBINAR: Innovative Strategies for investigating & reducing stress-health related disparities in African American women

Be sure to register for the upcoming SAAPHI webinar entitled “Innovative strategies for investigating and reducing stress- related health disparities in African American women.” Our featured guest speaker will be Cheryl L. Woods Giscombé, PhD, PMHNP.

Webinar Registration at: http://saaphiscienticwebinar-apr30.eventbrite.com
Contact: saaphiscientific@gmail.com

CURRENT RESEARCH: Alzheimer’s far more likely than breast cancer in women over 60

19 Mar

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Women age 60 and older have a 1 in 6 chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease in their lifetime, and are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared with breast cancer, according to a report from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Men, by comparison, have a 1 in 11 chance of getting Alzheimer’s, according to the 2014 Facts and Figures report.

Age is the greatest risk factor for gender differences among Alzheimer’s patients, but it’s not the only reason. Researchers are also looking at genetic and hormonal differences, according to Maria Carrillo, vice president of medical and scientific relations for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Read more here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/19/health/women-alzheimers/