Time Flies When You're Having Fun!
Wow! Time flies! We’re now a little over halfway through the summer, and I’ve got only four more weeks with the Public Health Department. Since spending a majority of my early/initial time going through trainings and legal documents, I’ve been able to work on several different projects and attend a wide variety of meetings. Recently I’ve done a lot of research and development of infographics and resource materials. My main project that was assigned is developing a public health detailing plan on fluoride varnish, which was started by an individual who used to work at the Public Health Department. The project is for the department to use more in the long term (after I have left for the summer) so though I keep plugging away at it, I actually ended up spending a lot of my time these past few weeks helping out with some more pressing projects dealing with St Lawrence County’s Opioid Taskforce and Bridge to Wellness Coalition.
Essentially the public health department works to generate a community health agenda (CHA) with 2-3 main topics or overarching health goals to improve in the community over the next four years or so. The Bridge to Wellness Coalition and Opioid Taskforce are two of the groups that are addressing the most recent CHA that wrapped up this past year in 2018. They took on addressing the goals of promoting mental health/preventing substance abuse and preventing chronic diseases by reducing obesity in children and adults. Furthermore, the Opioid Taskforce is geared towards preventing underage drinking, non-medical use of prescription pain relievers by youth, and excessive alcohol consumption by adults. So, I’ve been generating a lot of materials (cards, brochures, flyers etc.) for these two groups to use as part of their mission, as well as to educate their peers and the community on their achievements as of the end of the most recent agenda in 2018. It’s been fun exercising my creative side a little bit in between literature reviews, survey compilation, and number crunching.
Like I said, in between all my projects I’ve been able to attend various meetings or gatherings as well. For example, I got to volunteer for the Public Health Department’s rabies vaccination clinic (picture included). I got to assist with checking in all the adorable pups and kitty cats. I’ve also traveled with my supervisor to visit summer recreational programs in Massena to educate younger children on sun safety through crafts and educational games. Needless to say, I went into this internship looking for exposure to the various departments, projects and resources available within the Public Health Department, and I’ve gotten all of that and more in the five weeks I’ve been here. I’ve learned so much, and not just about Public Health in general and Public Health as it pertains to St. Lawrence County. I’ve also been able to build my skills as an employee and work on my multitasking, effective communication, and time management.
It was nice to give my brain a little bit of a break this past weekend and enjoy some Fourth of July festivities and the Team USA Women’s Soccer’s World Cup win since I’ve been going pretty much full throttle these past few weeks. And, I’m looking to do some more exploring of the North Country and all it has to offer in the next couple of weeks since, being local, I’ve had some busy weekends these past few weekends with various graduation events and parties for friends and family. One of my most exciting discoveries so far though (as a huge wine fanatic) is a local winery that tables at Canton’s Farmer’s Market- I’ve been visiting once a week to pick up a new bottle of wine to try while also supporting local producers. Since a lot of women I work with at the Public Health Department also enjoy some great food and wine it’s been a cool conversation piece because sometimes I can introduce them to some new places to try as well! All in all, I’ve been a busy body, but I’m having the best of time and can’t believe how time flies!