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Office of the Associate Dean of Community Engagement and Outreach

Academic Health Department Overview

Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health’s Office of the Associate Dean of Community Engagement and Outreach is committed to partnering with local health departments to establish and formalize Academic Health Departments. Academic Health Departments are mutually beneficial partnership designed to enhance public health instruction, practice, research, and workforce development to improve health in counties throughout Arizona.

The college has a long history of partnerships with local health departments throughout Arizona. Academic Health Departments strengthen the links between public health practice, research, training, and service though leveraging existing partnerships and establishing opportunities for new collaborations. 

Academic Health Departments are structured differently in each county or tribal reservation and are designed to benefit the health needs of each community.

More information on Academic Health Department core concepts may be downloaded as a PDF from the Public Health Foundation website. 

The Office of the Associate Dean of Community Engagement and Outreach has established Academic Health Departments with Pima County Health Department, Cochise Health and Social Services, and Pinal County Health Department. Academic Health Departments with Yuma County Health and Social Services and Graham County Health Department are underway.


Pima County Health Department

In June 2019, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and Pima County Health Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Academic Health Department. This mutually beneficial partnership is designed to enhance public health instruction, practice, research, and workforce development to improve health in Pima County. Download the Memorandum of Understanding.

The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and Pima County Health Department has a long, successful partnership. The signing of the MOU celebrates the organizations’ strong relationships and commitment to further strengthen the links between public health practice and academia.

During the summer of 2019, representatives from Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and Pima County Health Department formed a planning committee to develop the Academic Health Department’s Inaugural Work Plan for the 2019-2020 academic year.


Collaborations Highlights with Pima County Health Department and Mel and Enid Zuckerman’s College of Public Health’s (MEZCOPH) Office of the Associate Dean of Community Engagement and Outreach Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) include:

  • Seven Mini-Public Health Schools featuring co-presenters from Pima County Health Department and MEZCOPH with attendance representing more than 250 health department staff, students, MEZCOPH faculty and staff, and community members. 
  • Stock Inhaler for Schools Program 
    • MEZCOPH faculty and staff developed the Stock Inhaler For Schools Program and partnered with Pima County Health Department staff to implement the program at schools throughout the county
  • PCHD Internship Program
    • Since 2018,  Pima County Health Department has hosted over 95 MEZCOPH student interns
  • COVID-19 Collaborations
    • COVID-19 School Advisory Committee: MEZCOPH  and Pima County Health Department employees collaborate to support schools with re-opening in Pima County
    • SAFER Students (Student Aid for Field Epidemiology Response) assist in investigations of positive COVID-19 cases.
    • Graphic design students partnering with faculty and Pima County Health Department staff to translate data into visual messaging for the community
    • Faculty and students providing Pima County Health Department with infection control tacking assistance for long-term care facilities
  • Smoke-Free Wildcats Club
    • Smoke-Free Wildcats is a collaboration between Pima County Health Department, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, ASHLine, Arizona Center for Tobacco Cessation, Healthy Arizona Worksites Program, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Chicanos Por La Causa to protect people from the dangers of secondhand smoke and form connections with health care and community professionals. 
    • Terry Norbrook, CDC REACH Program Specialist at Pima County Health Department, Dr. Uma Nair and Dr. Mark Martz, MEZCOPH faculty, and Emily Waldron, MEZCOPH Community Engagement and Outreach Coordinator serve as advisors for the club. 
    • To learn more about Smoke Free Wildcats, visit https://www.smokefreewildcats.com

                                                

Academic Health Department Launch at Pima County Health Department                        Internship and Career Showcase at MEZCOPH


Cochise Health and Social Services

Cochise Health and Social Services and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health began the discussion of formalizing an Academic Health Department in early 2020 and the Academic Health Department was officially established in September 2020. 

Collaboration highlights with Cochise Health and Social Services Department and MEZCOPH include:

  • Contact Tracing Support
    • An MPH student is conducting a year-long contact tracing internship with Cochise Health and Social Services Department to identify residents in Cochise County who have been exposed and/or infected with COVID-19
    • The student is establishing a protocol to invite confirmed cases and contacts to participate in a cohort study conducted by the University of Arizona to explore COVID-19 occurrences in the state of Arizona
  • National Network of Libraries of Medicine
    • In February 2020, Education and Outreach Librarian with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) presented free public health resources available for health departments and academic institutions through NNLM.  A list of trainings available through NLLM can be found on the NLLM website here. (https://nnlm.gov/training/class-catalog)
  • Suicide Prevention Graphics Project
    • MEZCOPH faculty and a doctoral student provided guidance for suicide prevention resources that address unique public health needs in Cochise County. 
    • AHD graphic design interns are partnering with Cochise Health and Social Services staff to develop suicide prevention materials for four unique populations in Cochise County 1. Veterans 2. Youth 3. Migrant workers 4. Aging population 
  • Farmworker COVID-19 Graphics
    • In partnership with Cochise Health and Social Services, Yuma County Health Department, Southeastern Arizona Health Education Center, and Compesinos Sin Fronteras , AHD  student interns developed graphics to provide COVID-19 education specific to the farm working community

Pinal County Public Health District

Pinal County Public Health District and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health established an Academic Health Department in October 2020.  Collaboration highlights include:

  • School Health Toolkit
    • AHD student interns are providing graphic design and research support to update the School Case and Outbreak Toolkit.

Yuma County Public Health Services District

Yuma County Public Health Services District and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health are  in the process of establishing an Academic Health Department.  

Collaboration highlights with Yuma County Public Health Services District and MEZCOPH include:

  • Farmworker COVID-19 Graphics 
    • In partnership with Yuma County Health Department, Southeastern Arizona Health Education Center, and Compesinos Sin Fronteras and AHD interns graphics were developed to provide education on COVID-19 specific to the farm working community
    • Collaboration with Yuma County Health District, Cochise Health and Social Services,  Campesinos Sin Fronteras, and the South East Area Health Education Center (SEAHC) to promote farmworker health and safety. 
  • Essential Worker Flu Shot Campaign
    • Collaboration with Yuma County Health District and MEZCOPH graphic design student intern to create material to promoting flu shots to the essential worker workforce in Yuma County. 

 

 

 

 

 

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