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Spring 2015

News Briefs

Application Deadline for Summer Sessions Approaches. Call (330) 672-6500 M-F 8-5

Gain Field Experience in Meeting Basic Health and Human Needs in Rural Alabama, May 10-23. Application Deadline March 15.

African American, Latino American and Native American (AALANA) Public Health Diversity Symposium, Recognizing Under-40 AALANA Women as Public Health Role Models, Set for April 2. Free and Open to the Public.
Public Health Student Alliance Plans Extensive Community-Service Activities for Spring Semester 2015

LaDonna J. BlueEye, PhD, Indiana University School of Public Health, Spoke to Public Health Students, University Community on Two-Spirit Identity among Indigenous Populations on February 12

Prevention Science Student Krystel Tossone Successfully Defends Dissertation, Emergency Department Providers' Treatment of Sexual Assault Victims: Behaviors, Experiences and Perceptions, will be the College's Fourth Doctoral Alumni Upon Graduation in May and has Accepted a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education, Case Western Reserve University.

Wallace Chambers and James Karichu Advance to Doctoral Candidacy in Health Policy & Management

James Hardy, MPH '14, has Joined Summit County Public Health as Assistant Director, Community Health

Welcome to Rebecca Fischbein, PhD, who Joins Health Policy & Management Faculty, and Deborah Barber, Joining the Undergraduate Advising Staff.

Congratulations to All.

Connect Here Now Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. We want to connect with each of you to stay up to date on your adventures in public health and keep you current on ours. Updates include career opportunities from our partners and alumni, programs and events, reseach and policy plus the ability to share your news. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and join us on LinkedIn.


Dear Friend of the College,

We had a mountaintop experience for the college February 2-4, when a team of external evaluators from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) visited Kent State to assess our readiness for becoming a fully accredited member. These esteemed colleagues, representing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas A&M University and the University of Georgia, as well as CEPH, braved a fierce blizzard to meet with our community partners, students, faculty, External Advisory Committee members and Kent State's president and provost. I couldn't have been more proud of the college's students, faculty and staff, who worked so very hard over the past two years on our accreditation submissions, and whose skills, professionalism and passion for public health education shone so brightly during the three-day site visit. The external evaluators' report and recommendation will be considered at CEPH's mid-June meeting, and we're feeling upbeat about our prospects.

As we climbed the mountain, don't think for a minute that we haven't been plowing our fields. In fact, this issue is full of stories about how our college is reimagining some public health fundamentals. Assistant Professor Maggie Stedman-Smith and colleagues report about their recent research demonstrating the effectiveness of a workplace hand-hygiene intervention research that caught the attention of a prestigious clinical journal. You'll find a primer on measles epidemiology from Associate Professor Tara Smith, infectious disease expert often called upon by CNN and other national media for measles science and perspectives. We announce that the State of Ohio has asked us to reflect on how local governments collaborate in the purchase of health insurance. And you'll read exciting details about our new fully online Health Policy & Management MPH program, which makes this career-boosting degree more accommodating to busy personal and professional lives.

We will unite the fundamental with the exhilarating on April 24, when the Public Health Student Alliance hosts our fourth-annual Art for Cancer benefit supporting the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. We welcome your joining us for this elegant evening of dinner and music, highlighted by a silent auction of fine art and crafts donated by faculty, staff and students, demonstrating their hidden talents, all in support of this most worthy cause. Tickets are $15 for students, $30 for non-students and $55 for couples and are available online.

Dr. Sonia Alemagno, Dean

Research Finds Promising Workplace Hand-Hygiene Intervention

Kent State researchers recently completed a pioneering office-based hand-hygiene improvement intervention which reduced common Hand_Hygiene_Teamcommunicable illness by close to a third. This was the first U.S. pilot randomized cluster trial of its kind, and findings were published in the prominent Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Photo: Doctoral Student Diana Kingsbury, Ben Villarreal, MPH '13, BS '10, and Samantha Pecnik, MPH '14, load supplies for delivery to the investigation site.

Measles Vaccination: Why Ohio Must Step it Up

The United States experienced a record measles year in 2014, with 644 cases from 27 states reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This was the highest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in America in 2000, and 341 of the cases, more than half, were from Ohio. So far in 2015, there have been 154 cases in 17 states, with 77 percent of cases part of a large, ongoing multi-state outbreak linked to exposure to an unvaccinated female traveler in her 20s at Disneyland.

MMR_vaccineWhile time will tell whether Ohio will be spared this year, there's no state in the nation with fewer toddlers protected against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). The CDC says that in 2013, only 86 percent of Ohio's 19- to 35-month-old children were vaccinated, compared to rates of 96 percent or higher in top states. Ohio has been among the only states in the nation not requiring vaccines for entering licensed daycare, a situation which will be remedied by a new law taking effect this month.

"We could be primed for an outbreak if measles does hit the state," observes Tara C. Smith, PhD, associate professor, epidemiology, and infectious disease expert. "If we got an outbreak in Cleveland or one of the suburbs, we could be in bad shape," she says.

PH Students, Faculty Going Global

More than 30 graduate and undergraduate students will learn first-hand how public health is making a difference around the world, when they participate in global health immersion experiences this coming May and June. In addition, new global health partnerships for future education and research are being pursued in Brazil and India.


Photo:  Students and faculty at the Servants in Faith & Technology facility in Lineville, Alabama.

Online MPH Excitement Builds

Kent State is offering the first fully online Health Policy & Management MPH program available from an Ohio university and one of only a handful nationwide. Delivered 100-percent online, the program is ideal for working professionals seeking career advancement in public health, healthcare administration and nonprofit management.

The new program is coordinated by Willie H. Oglesby, PhD, assistant professor, HPM. "The online MPH delivers the education required to make a difference in the community," says Oglesby. "Students build a portfolio of academic and practical learning applicable in their current positions, as well as in future professional opportunities. Graduates will emerge with strong capabilities in health services organization and management, alternative models of service delivery and funding and strategies for improving population health," he explains.

The college is a leader in online education, having developed the university's first fully online bachelor's degree in 2012. While the online MPH will officially be launched in Fall Semester 2015, a small cohort has already enrolled and is taking classes.

Successful Career Day Held January 22

Hundreds of students attended the college's inaugural career day on January 22 in the Moulton Hall Ballroom. They participated in sessions on resume writing; job interviewing; use of social media and other online tools for job search; and building a portfolio of academic and practical Career_Daylearning achievements. Representatives from nearly two dozen local employers, including Akron General Health System, The Centers for Families and Children, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Summa Health System and several local health departments, met with students about career opportunities and what the employers are looking for regarding background and skills. Recent alumni were on hand to discuss job-search success secrets with attendees. "The day was all about preparing students to be ready for the workforce and to successfully land the kind of jobs they want and build the kind of careers they envision," says Ken Slenkovich, assistant dean for operations and community relations and head of the Office of Public Health Practice & Partnerships, sponsor of the career day.

Photo: MPH Student Chenai Milton meets with David Covell, Lorain County Health Commissioner

Accreditation Evaluation Team Visits February 2-4

In early February, one of the final steps took place in the college's journey to be fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). A team of three external evaluators, representing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas A&M University and the University of Georgia, visited campus February 2-4, accompanied by a member of the CEPH staff. They met with community partners, students, faculty, External Advisory Committee members and Kent State's president and provost. Next steps involve the team writing a report and making their recommendation regarding accreditation to be considered at CEPH's meeting in mid-June. "The evaluators' comments were largely very encouraging, and we will be able to address any remaining issues and anticipate receiving a favorable response from the board," observes Dev Pathak, PhD, chair of the college's External Advisory Committee CEPH_logoand founding dean of the Robert Stempel School of Public Health at Florida International University and former interim dean of the College of Public Health at The Ohio State University. "The CEPH site visit confirmed the influence that our College of Public Health already possesses in Ohio," says Kent State Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs, Todd A. Diacon, PhD. "As we move toward full accreditation, we'll continue to improve lives through research, service and education. We're fortunate to have the College of Public Health at Kent State," he adds.

College to Examine Public Sector Health Insurance Purchasing Consortiums

The Center for Public Policy & Health (CPPH) has been awarded a $129,500 contract from the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to investigate the use, advantages and disadvantages of health benefit consortiums among Ohio public entities, including local governments, school districts and institutions of higher education. A resource guide and website content will be developed. Completion is anticipated by the end of the year.

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Faculty Receive Grants, Publish and Speak about Research

The college takes enormous pride in the pioneering work of our faculty and students who are constantly creating, discovering and leading the discourse in their disciplines. Recent work has involved Staphylococcus aureus transmission between animals and humans, Twitter use during the recent U.S. Ebola scare and college student attitudes toward e-cigarettes, among other topics.

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Burke Examining Births in Co-op Research Program

Four master's and doctoral students are working on research projects with leading local organizations via the Ohio Means Internships & Co-ops Program. Ryan C. Burke is one of those students, working with Akron General Health System to study utilization patterns and outcomes related to perinatal health services.Burke

"My main area of focus is Caesarean-section rates, a hot topic nationally in terms of quality of care and health outcomes," Burke explains. For several years, Akron General has been adopting new practice recommendations developed by several leading national obstetrics organizations to dramatically lower C-section rates, "and they are continuing that work," she says. Burke is analyzing a historical database of deliveries, to help identify additional opportunities for rate improvement.

Photo: Ryan Burke

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01.20.15_Photo_of_Amanda_GoodwinOnline BSPH Provides Lifeline for Liver Transplant Patient

When Amanda Goodwin, BSPH '14, learned she would require a liver transplant due to progressive liver disease afflicting her since age five, she didn't give up on plans to complete her Kent State degree. Read the inspiring story of how the online BSPH degree represented a lifeline for the recent alumna.

Photo: Amanda Goodwin

Alumni Social Held January 29

The College of Public Health Alumni Group kicked off the year with a social event at the Winking Lizard Tavern in Peninsula on January 29. Alumni mingled with former classmates and faculty members, then enjoyed dinner, topped off with a delectable cake and a raffle. Thanks to the alumni group steering committee for organizing the event. In other news, alumni group members shared job-search success secrets with students attending the college's January 22 career day, sponsored by the Office of Public Health Practice & Partnerships. Future activities will include participating in a recent graduates panel discussion on public health careers during National Public Health Week, April 6-10.  Alumni are invited to join the Kent State College of Public Health Alumni Group on LinkedIn.  Those interested in getting involved can also contact Hardy.


Photo: (L-R) James Hardy, MPH '14, Dean Sonia Alemagno, Laurel Tomei, MPH '14, Jenna Brinker, BSPH '14, Assistant Dean Ken Slenkovich

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