Skip to Main Content

National Public Health Week

Welcome to NPHW! As a public health professional, I could not let this annual event go by without doing the best we can to provide information, resources and creativity during this difficult time. We are public health and this IS public health. The Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, along with sponsors like the American Public Health Association, the National Institute of Health’s “All of Us” campaign, and the Florida Public Health Association as well as our very own Leaders in Maternal Child Health and Environmental Health Student Association were able to bring this event together for you! Thank you for joining us for NPHW!Christie Kirchoff, RN, MS – PhD Student, Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

National Public Health Week Archive


  • Monday, April 6, 2020 | Mental Health

    305 Cafecito – Mental Health with Victoria Gray

    Join Victoria Gray, clinical instructor in the School of Social Work, as she talks to Saif Y. Ishoof, vice president of Engagement, about recognizing the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression during this time of social distancing on 305 Cafecito Chat. Gray will discuss tips for dealing with fear and uncertainty, how to develop healthy coping strategies, and ways to protect yourself against long-term mental health impacts.

    Facilitator: Saif Y. Ishoof, Esq., Vice President of Engagement

    Guest Speaker: Victoria Gray, L.C.S.W., Clinical Instructor, School of Social Work

    De-Stressing Techniques for Finals Week

    Time: 4:00 pm

    This is an informative webinar facilitated by Social Work Clinical Instructor, Ms. Victoria Gray. In this webinar, Prof. Gray will discuss some tools and resources to cope with stress and end the semester strong.

    Facilitator: Victoria Gray, L.C.S.W., Clinical Instructor, School of Social Work


    The section below includes helpful resources provided by a number of national and community organizations to address mental health, stress, and how to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

    You may also want to explore some meditation apps (found in the Apple App store): Headspace: Meditation & Sleep, and Calm are two such examples.

    “Mental health has long been a condition overlooked by silence and stigma. However, with increasing recognition on the impact trauma, violence, and other social determinants have on mental health and ultimately life outcomes, awareness is rising. This means that all of us, here at the university and within our communities, have a greater role to play to augment awareness with prevention and treatment. We each need to be mindful of our own personal mental health needs, support others and get connected with the resources available to overcome barriers to mental health care. Here at FIU, students can access the many free services offered through the Counseling and Psychological Services. Walk-in through those doors with your head held high, pushing past the stigma, knowing that you are caring for your mind, body and soul.”

    – Rumi Agarwal, MPH, MBA – PhD Candidate, Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Tuesday, April 7, 2020 | Maternal and Child Health

    The Leaders in Maternal and Child Health here at FIU’s Stempel College have put together a series of presentations on current topics in Maternal and Child Health. The first two are Pecha Kucha, a form of storytelling aimed at presenting ideas in a succinct and imaginative way.

    1. Marta Salazar

    Program: MPH in Public Health – Maternal and Child Health

    Presentation Topic: Immigrant Children

    2. Aida Roman

    Program: MPH in Public Health – Maternal and Child Health

    Presentation Topic: Breastfeeding

    3. Osmari Novoa

    Program: MPH in Public Health – Maternal and Child Health

    Presentation Topic: Diabetes and Screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences


    The section below includes helpful resources for kids and home learning:

  • Wednesday, April 8, 2020 | Violence Prevention

    “I could have died that night:” One Transwoman’s Experience and Why She Promotes Activism to End Violence Against the Transgender Community?

    This is a pre-recorded interview between Shaina Johnson and Rajee Narinesingh. In this interview, Shaina speaks with Rajee about her personal experiences of violence and gives advice for public health students and professionals. The content is at times emotional and difficult to watch and may be triggering to some (Support Hotlines). The language and content is highly relevant to the current epidemic of violence against the transgender community. We firmly believe education and dispelling stigma are the key to ending this epidemic.

    Facilitator: Shaina Johnson, MPH, PhD Student, Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

    Guest Speaker: Rajee Narinesingh, American Transgender Actress, Activist, Author, Singer, and Reality Television Personality

    Public Health Policy and Advocacy for Violence Prevention

    This is a pre-recorded interview between Shaina Johnson and Orlando Gonzalez. Shaina and Orlando discuss the state of violence against the LGBTQ community in Dade County and the country. They explore and identify ways to effect change through policies and advocacy.

    Facilitator: Shaina Johnson, MPH, PhD Student, Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

    Guest Speaker: Orlando Gonzales, MPA, Executive Director of Safeguarding American Values for Everyone (SAVE/SAVE Dade)

    According to the Pew Research Center, violence is the leading cause of premature death. This can include suicide, murder, and other types of intentional and unintentional cases of death. The purpose of this violence prevention program is to increase awareness regarding the extraordinary levels of violence experienced by transgender people in the United States. In particular, transgender women are facing an “epidemic of violence” that is largely ignored by the media and is not sufficiently explored by public health. Transgender women of color are most likely to murdered as part of a hate crime.

    According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey:

    • Almost half (46%) of the respondents, reported being verbally harassed in the past year
    • 35% experienced physical violence by an intimate partner (compared to 30% of the U.S. adult population) and nearly one-quarter (24%) experienced severe physical violence by current or former partner (compared with 18% of the U.S. population.)
    • 13% had been physically assaulted in the past year

    Number of physical attacks in the past year

    Yes Institute, provides powerful, action-oriented dialogue and quality research-based education on gender and orientation. They began as a community-based initiative in 1996 to address the high rates of teenage suicide impacting young people who identified or were labeled as gay. In 2003, YES Institute added cutting-edge education courses on gender. Each year, they conduct over 200 presentations and courses for a wide variety of communities – parents and students, nurses and medical personnel, school teachers and administrators, counselors and psychologists, business executives, police departments, and other non-profits and human service organizations. Their continuing education curriculum is accredited by the Florida Department of Health and the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Courses and presentations are available in both English and Español.

    YES Institute is based in Miami, Florida and has reached communities across the country, including Alabama, Georgia, and New York. We have worked in Latin America, including Bogotá, Colombia and Cuernavaca, México. People travel to Miami from all over the world to participate in our courses, including participants from Australia, Italy, South Africa, and Kenya.

    Click here to view a video from Yes Institute that gives a glimpse into the work they do to create a safer place for all.


  • Thursday, April 9, 2020 | Environmental Health

    Environmental Health and COVID – 19

    Join Dr. Jason R. Richardson, Associate Dean for Research & Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, as he talks with Christian Perez, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, about the environmental health aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Attendees will garner a greater understanding of the environmental health implications in our national public health response to this global pandemic. Topics to be discussed include environmental health mitigation strategies implemented for the COVID-19 outbreak, environmental factors contributing to COVID-19 infections, environmental-related diseases that coincide with a higher risk for COVID-19 mortality, and current research initiatives to prepare us for the next global pandemic.

    Facilitator: Christian Perez, PhD Student, Department of Environmental Health Sciences

    Guest Speaker: Jason R. Richardson, PhD, Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

    305 Cafecito – Global Health with Dr. Carlos Espinal & Dr. Andria Rusk

    Time: 3:00 p.m.

    Join Dr. Carlos Espinal, director of the Global Health Consortium, and Dr. Andria Rusk, research assistant professor, as they talk to Saif Y. Ishoof, vice president of Engagement, about demythologizing some recent confusions around individual preventative actions, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and what it actually means to “flatten the curve.”

    Facilitator: Saif Y. Ishoof, Esq., Vice President of Engagement

    Guest Speaker: Carlos Espinal, Ph.D., Director of the Global Health Consortium, & Andria Rusk, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor


    Environmental health is the branch of public health that pertains to the relationships between people and their interactions with their environment; the promotion of human health and well-being through a healthier environment; and the fostering of healthy & safe communities. Environmental health is a crucial component of any public health system. The field works to progress policies and institutions that reduce harmful chemical and other environmental exposures that are present in the air, water, soil, and food in an effort to protect people to provide communities with healthier environments.

    The current COVID19 outbreak pertains to environmental health issues and how they impact vulnerable populations globally. Environmental health implications that can be linked to the COVID19 outbreak include, global migration patterns, environmental degradation of highly urbanized communities, social distancing, and quarantine operations by the CDC.

    The environmental health sciences department performs a wide array of research aimed at improving our understanding of the environmental health field and how it affects community health. The Brain, Behavior, and Environment program performs outstanding research on neurodegenerative diseases and their association with harmful environmental exposures to lead, magnesium, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals. The environmental toxicology portion of the department is performing amazing analysis consisting of the use of artificial intelligence and high throughput datasets gathered from the human population to model predictive transcriptomic signatures useful for environmental health risk assessment.

    To access some environmental health information please refer to the helpful links below: 

    National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

    Florida Department of Health

    Environmental Health Sciences Department

    Click here to access our local Environmental Health Student Association FIU organization page:

    – Christian Perez – PhD Student, Department of Environmental Health Sciences


  • April 1, 2019 | Living and Aging in Miami

    Living and Aging in Miami

    Date: Monday April 1st, 2019

    Time: 1:00 pm

    Location: Green Library (GL) 139

    The Age-Friendly Initiative – Across the globe, people are living longer and our populations are growing older. Miami-Dade has the largest population of older adults in the State of Florida with over half a million older adults age 60 and over in the County; and that population is expected to continue to grow to over 800,000 by 2040, representing 25% of the total population of Miami-Dade County (Source: Florida Population Studies: Population Projections by Age, Race, and Hispanic Origin for Florida and Its Counties 2015-2040 with Estimates for 2013, University of Florida, Bureau of Economic and Business Research). But, most communities were not built for this shift in demographics. Our economies, policies, and communities were not built to accommodate an aging population or aging in place. How well Miami-Dade responds to the aging phenomenon and meets the needs of older adults will depend on how well we prepare our communities to do so, and how we can work collectively toward sustainable change to ensure our community is a place where people of all ages can live with the quality of life that they need and deserve.

    Age Friendly Initiative - Isabel Rovira, MPH

    Isabel Rovira is a principal and co-founder of Urban Health Solutions and Chief Operating Officer of its non-profit arm, Urban Health Partnerships. She holds a Master’s in Public Health with experience in the public health, non-profit, medical, and government sectors. Isabel has experience in managing programs, grant writing and administration, and operations and administration for several organizations. She manages the Miami-Dade Age-Friendly Initiative (AFI) and is passionate about creating safe and healthy spaces or all residents. Isabel has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, and with other health related organizations in South Florida. Isabel has extensive experience in meeting planning and management and educational programming for the health sector.

  • April 2, 2019 | A Communication Called Bullying with Yes Institute

    A Communication Called Bullying with Yes Institute– Sponsored by Leaders in Maternal Child Health and Counsel for Student Organizations

    Date: Tuesday April 2, 2019

    Time: 10:00 a.m.

    Location: MANGO building 220

    This course examines the phenomenon of “bullying” through the lens of communication. Children who are bullied are more likely to drop out of school, have lower academic achievement, and are at greater risk of experiencing anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideology—effects that can persist into adulthood. Children who report using bullying behaviors are over three times as likely to have multiple criminal convictions by their early twenties.

    What is being communicated by those labeled “bully” and “victim”? How do we respond? Can our responses become more effective if our listening is more attuned to the communication being delivered?

    Participants have the opportunity to redefine the context around bullying, shifting the focus from reacting to examining and addressing bullying at its source. This course includes leading research by top bullying experts in the U.S., and first-hand narratives from those personal impacted. You will leave this course with a new paradigm for bullying that can open a pathway toward win/win lasting solutions, not quick fixes. You will also have access to engaging local community resources on bullying prevention.

    YES Institute - Joseph Zolobczuk, MS Ed.

    Joseph has served on staff with YES Institute for 21 years. As Director of Education for YES Institute, Joseph leads continuing education courses for teachers, mental health therapists and medical professionals across South Florida – working to reduce health disparities of youth and families impacted by gender stereotypes and anti-gay social stigmas. He also serves communities throughout the U.S. through SAMHSA’s TA Network, providing cultural and linguistic consultation to systems of care with youth and adult mental health and substance abuse prevention populations. His public health research focus includes on the impact of gender stereotypes and anti-gay slurs in school and workplace environments.

    He completed his Masters in Education from the University of Miami, School of Education & Human Development in May 2012, and was awarded the Student Silver Medallion award for humanitarian service from the Miami Coalition of Christians & Jews (MCCJ) that same year.

  • April 3, 2019 | Smackdown on PrEP : A Debate on HIV Prevention

    Smackdown on PrEP; A Debate on HIV Prevention – Sponsored by Florida Public Health Association, Society Of Public Health Education and Miami-Dade County Department Of Health

    Date: Wednesday April 3, 2019

    Time: 12 p.m.

    Location: Graham Center (GC) 314

    This event will explore the differing opinions about the use of PrEP in the prevention of HIV in Miami-Dade County. Presented in the format of a traditional debate. Our moderator will give an introduction to PrEP and each presenter’s credentials as expert and ask important questions.

    William Darrow, PhD. – Against PrEP

    Before accepting a position at Florida International University (FIU) in 1994, Dr. William Darrow was chief of the Behavioral and Prevention Research Branch, Division of STD/HIV Prevention, National Center for Prevention Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He has published 130 scientific articles, chapters and research monographs. He has presented more than 100 papers at national and international meetings and has consulted with many organizations, including the Global Program on AIDS, the World Health Organization and the European Union.

    Dr. Darrow was recognized for his lifetime contributions to science and humanity by his hometown of Norwich, Connecticut, in 1992 when he was presented with their “Native Son” Award. In 1993, he received the Award for Sociological Practice from the Society for Applied Sociology. In 1994, he accepted the Thomas Parran Award from the American Venereal Disease Association. In 1996, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award given by his alma mater, the University of Connecticut. In 1998, Dr. Darrow and his colleagues were selected by the editors of the Journal of Sex Research to receive the Hugo Beigel Award for the best scientific paper published in their peer-reviewed journal.

    His role in demonstrating the sexual transmission of the AIDS virus was described by Randy Shilts in And the Band Played On. His character was portrayed by Richard Masur in the Emmy-Award winning motion picture of the same name. He can be seen playing himself in The Zero Factor, part one of the four-part documentary, A Time of AIDS.

    Dr. Consuelo Beck-Sague – For PrEP

    Dr. Consuelo Beck-Sagué is a Florida-licensed physician, board certified in pediatrics and infectious diseases, who has worked in public health and infectious disease, including HIV, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted disease prevention and care for over 35 years.

    She trained as a pediatrician in the Residency Program for Social Medicine, Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, New York.

    She was accepted into the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, in the Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Atlanta, Georgia. She remained at CDC for another 17 years, where she led dozens of epidemic investigations, multicenter studies and other research.

    From 2004-2008, she worked as a Clinton HIV/AIDS initiative consultant to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Health to help lead the scale-up of pediatric antiretroviral therapy (ART) use in the Dominican Republic. During her four years in the Dominican Republic, the number of pediatric patients receiving ART rose from less than 50 to over 1,000, more than 77 percent of children diagnosed with HIV, one of the highest proportions in the developing world.

    Three months after joining Florida International University’s (FIU) Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in August 2011, she submitted a proposal to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in collaboration with her FIU mentors, Jessy Devieux and the late Robert Malow, the first binational NIH-funded (Haiti-DR) pediatric HIV project. She successfully competed for and leads a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded training grant to develop a maternal and child health concentration and graduate certificate. She has authored/co-authored over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, chapters and national and international reports and guidelines.

    Moderator – Chintan Bhatt, PhD candidate

  • April 4, 2019 | Using mHealth to Empower and Link Communities to Local Resources

    Using mHealth to Empower and Link Communities to Local Resources – Sponsored by Stempel Public Health Association

    Date: Thursday, April 4th, 2019

    Time: 1:00 pm

    Location: MANGO room 222

    This discussion will focus on utilizing technology in public health. Every year, Florida is home to 150,000 to 200,000 farmworkers and their families. Many of Florida’s farmworkers are Latinx immigrants working in the Homestead/Florida City area. Although there is high demand for prevention/intervention services within this population, many find it difficult to navigate the system. As a result, they often find themselves as victims of fraud or neglecting health needs that often escalate. Several studies have taken, what has become, a traditional approach to this problem by training CHWs to link communities to local services. Dr. Ravelo has taken a novel approach to a traditional solution by arming trained CHWs with mHealth technology that makes them more effective and empowers the communities they serve. Introducing SALVA, a bilingual informative smartphone application (app) developed for the hard to reach and underserved community. Dr. Ravelo will present on problems these communities face, past solutions, methodologies in developing the SALVA app, its functions, uses, applicability, challenges, data collection strategies, and future directions.

    Gira Ravelo, PhD.

    Dr. Ravelo is a Research Assistant Professor with the Center for Research on US Latinos, HIV/AIDS, & Drug Abuse (CRUSADA), at Florida International University (FIU). Her research agenda has focused on community-based participatory research (CBPR) and social determinants of minority health and health disparities among vulnerable populations including, Latinxs, Latinx immigrants, and farm working/migrant communities. She was recently awarded the CRUSADA Supplemental Pilot Studies Program grant where she will be assessing feasibility for a Latina mother-daughter dyad intervention among Latina migrants and farmworkers. Dr. Ravelo, just completed the Homestead Stakeholders (Stakeholders) project that assessed the needs and resources of the Latinx migrant/farm working community of the Homestead area. Currently Dr. Ravelo is the project director of an ongoing project titled Comadres/Compadres that builds on information gathered from Stakeholders in order to link the Homestead Latinx population to local resources via trained community health workers (CHW).

  • April 5, 2019 | Climate Change and Public Health

    Climate Change and Public Health – Sponsored by Environmental Health Student Association and Miami-Dade County Department Of Health

    Date : Friday, April 5, 2019

    Time: 10:00 am

    Location: Graham Center (GC) 140

    This presentation will explore the health impacts of a changing climate.

    Karina Castillo, MPS

    Karina Castillo is Resilience Coordinator for Engagement and Outreach at the Miami-Dade County Office of Resilience. She holds a Masters of Professional Science degree in Weather, Climate, and Society from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. She also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology and Applied Mathematics from the University of Miami. Karina has worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and various non-profit organizations focused on education and engagement.

    In 2017, Karina made Grist’s annual list of emerging green leaders. The environmental media site selects 50 of the nation’s most talked-about organizers whose “fresh, forward-thinking solutions to some of humanity’s biggest challenges” stand out. For its second edition, Grist editors chose solution-based thinkers whom they are calling “The Fixers.” Additionally, in 2016, Ford Motor Company named Karina as a Mujer Legendaria as a representative of their green pillar for her work in climate and the Latino Community.

    Karina has extensive experience in educating and engaging diverse audiences in climate change especially in the South Florida region. She has been invited to numerous national climate related summits and events including the release of the National Climate Assessment release at the White House in 2014.