Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, March 15, 2010

SPH Public Health Action Support Team spends break in South Texas

The School of Public Health’s Public Health Action Support Team spent spring break on a weeklong public health immersion trip to the south Texas Rio Grande Valley

Led by Melissa Valerio, assistant professor of health behavior and health education, students participated in activities related to public health issues on the U.S.-Mexico border by working in collaboration with Texas-based academic and community partners.

The three major projects included:

• An examination of the use and design of public health preparedness communications.

• Development of diabetes and obesity media messages and focus groups with the University of Texas School of Public Health Brownsville.

• Environmental health issues on the border with the STEER program at the University of Texas Health Science Center Regional Area Health Campus.

On the final full day, students participated in a community project with Proyecto Azteca, a community organization focused on addressing housing needs in South Texas colonias located in Hidalgo County.

The trip was sponsored by the UM-SPH Office of Public Health Practice and funded in part by the Michigan Center for Public Health Preparedness.

From left, Heidi Durbeck, Kristin Goddard, Carrie Cantrell, Laura Dirkse, Ashley Strahley, Reed Sorensen, Fisayo Nwachukwu, Caitrin Kelly, Laura Zwolinski, Rachel Diehl, Cam-Van Huynh, Laurel Himes-Ferris, Danielle Lepar, Kate Pennington, Melissa Valerio, Wei-Lun Huang and Gloria Lam. Not pictured: Joshua Clayton and Dana Thomas. (Photo by Dana Thomas)