Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Future public health leaders

Epi-what? Many high school students may not even know how to say “epidemiology,” let alone know what it is or be enrolled in an epi course.

But 15 Virginia high school seniors taking an epidemiology seminar are attending the APHA Annual Meeting to learn how epidemiology is used in the real world. The students attend Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, a magnet school for government and international studies in Richmond, Va., and were awarded a grant to support their trip to Boston.
Many of the students are interested in a health career, soaking up the information offered at Annual Meeting sessions and the Public Health Expo. They eagerly discussed the research and ethical issues they learned about in sessions on corporate monopolies and the global food supply, the epidemiology of criminal violence in relation to the Sandy Hook school shooting, and the effects of cancer survivorship on diet and family stress.

In fact, the students didn’t miss the opportunity to start networking with public health professionals — they already spoke with representatives of APHA’s Health Informatics Information Technology Section about potential partnerships.


Above, high school epidemiology students from Richmond, Va., visit the APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Boston. Photo by Melanie Padgett Powers

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