Podcast: Reimagining Public Health as Art, Letters, Poems, and Stories

In this episode of JPHMP Direct TALK, guests Dr. Juliet Iwelunmor, Dr. Ucheoma Nwaozuru, and Ms. Alexis Engelhart describe a new public health literary journal called LIGHT that aims to center the public in public health.

Leaders Igniting Generational Healing & Transformation (LIGHT) reimagines public health as we know it, particularly with bringing the “public” back into health. LIGHT believes that art, letters, poems, and stories are great avenues through which we can become more responsive to and representative of people’s daily realities with health. LIGHT is a go-to literary journal in public health, a movement that connects, creates, and curates content for the public by the public, ultimately centering the public and its voice in public health.

LIGHT records personal experiences and stories through creative expressions and literary works. It is a non-traditional journal and unified space that the public can use to creatively connect and express themselves through narratives of their own health. LIGHT actively listens to, engages with, and learns from the public with the goal of bridging the divide between the public and public health experts through creativity. LIGHT creates conversations for the public, for youth, and for researchers, aims to advance work that pushes the margins of public health, and fosters a new generation of change in the public health field, one that has the public first in mind.

Submissions accepted until May 1. Click flyer for info.

LIGHT will be a themed, biannual journal that utilizes crowdsourcing to create its content. With two-themed open contests each year, they envision a journal that is built off the inclusivity and narratives of the people. They invite everyone to this space as a way to connect with each other using the dialogue, expressions, and language that they resonate with best, whether that’s through poetry, letters, stories, art, spoken word, music, and more. Visit www.light4ph.org and follow LIGHT on Instagram and Twitter at @light4ph.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with three of the founders of LIGHT, Dr. Juliet Iwelunmor, Dr. Ucheoma Nwaozuru, and Ms. Alexis Engelhart. They are currently accepting submissions for their first issue. Learn more at www.Light4PH.org.

Listen to the Podcast

About Our Guests

Juliet Iwelunmor, PhD

Dr. Juliet Iwelunmor is an Associate Professor in Global Health in the Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education at Saint Louis University. Her research is centered around the use of culturally salient implementation science strategies to develop, implement, and sustain in community settings, evidence-based health interventions that reduce health disparities and advance health equity. She is the PI of a UG3/UH3 phased grant aimed at assessing the effectiveness of youth-friendly implementation science strategies in increasing uptake and sustainability of HIV self-testing led by and for Nigerian youth. In addition, she has also led other implementation science trials focused on evaluating the scale-up and sustainability of well-proven chronic disease management programs targeted at hypertension and other cardiovascular risk factors in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ucheoma Nwaozuru, PhD

Dr. Ucheoma Nwaozuru is an Assistant Professor in Implementation Science at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the role of participatory approaches, social innovations, and technologies to develop sustainable and contextually appropriate health interventions.

Alexis Engelhart, BS

Alexis Engelhart is a master’s in public health student with a joint concentration in global health and biosecurity and disaster preparedness at Saint Louis University’s College for Public Health and Social Justice. She also serves as a research coordinator in the Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education. Alexis is passionate about creatively and effectively communicating research and health information to the public and is interested in the sustainability of interventions in diverse communities.

Author Profile

Justin B. Moore
Justin B. Moore, PhD, MS, FACSM, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Implementation Science in the Division of Public Health Sciences in the Wake Forest School of Medicine at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, USA. He conducts community-engaged research focused on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based strategies for the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity. He is the Associate Editor for the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice and the Associate Editor-in-Chief of the Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. Dr. Moore is an active member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Public Health Association (APHA). He was named a fellow in the ACSM in 2010 and was a founding member of the Physical Activity Section of the APHA. He later served as the chair of the Physical Activity Section and as the Section’s representative on the APHA Governing Council. In addition to his leadership at the national, state, and local levels, he has published more than 170 peer-reviewed articles and has received funding for his research from the National Institutes of Health, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the de Beaumont Foundation, among others.

Dr. Moore is a graduate of Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (BS), the University of Mississippi (MS), and the University of Texas at Austin (PhD). He also holds a certificate of competencies in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Follow him at Twitter and Instagram.