Category Archives: Boots on the Ground

Moral Injury on the Frontlines in Public Health: Balancing the Needs of Our Communities and Ourselves

Today, as the pandemic enters yet another phase, the frontline public health workforce faces a different threat: moral injury. The COVID-19 pandemic has been battering the hearts and souls of public health workers for over a year and a half. Many of us on the frontline felt a hint of relief when we were able to see the Herculean vaccination

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Immediate Impact of Volunteers in the COVID-19 Response 

I have spent more than 25 years working in local public health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, currently serving as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Officer Association (MHOA), where I oversee an organization with 600+ members, including staff from 300 of the 351 health departments in the state.  For much of this time, I have advocated, with my

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For Combating COVID-19, Collaboration Is Key

The COVID-19 pandemic spread to the United States during my last semester at the Boston University School of Public Health. By March of 2020, I was working full-time from my apartment at the time, taking all my classes online, and I hadn’t been outside for days. My parents in Vermont, less than 200 miles away, continued their normal lives, going

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Doing Well in Wenham: A Local Wellness Check Program During COVID

I relish any opportunity to apply knowledge gained throughout my studies in public health to resolve a real-world conundrum. When I learned that SARS-CoV-2 was spreading rapidly within our country and that it could overwhelm our health systems, I admittedly became obsessed. I read every pre-print that came out, whipped up my own spreadsheets to track the numbers, and cheered

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Experience as a Contact Tracer: Family Ties

Over the summer, JPHMP Direct’s “Boots on the Ground,” is running a series, “Answering the Call: A Public Health Response to COVID-19,” featuring posts from the Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps in Massachusetts. When I first arrived in the United States from the Dominican Republic, I was a young 17-year-old with both dreams and doubts. I had no clear image

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How Do You Serve? Partnerships and Systems Building

Our homework assignments at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) lost importance in late March: COVID-19 was spreading, and people were unnecessarily dying. With so much of the focus on medical care rather than upstream, public health interventions, we knew there was work to be done. In early April, we learned that the newly formed Academic Public Health

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Answering the Call: A Public Health Response to COVID-19

Over the summer, JPHMP Direct’s “Boots on the Ground,” will be running a series, “Answering the Call: A Public Health Response to COVID-19,” featuring posts from the Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps in Massachusetts. Today’s feature provides background information on the Corps. In April 2019, eight schools and programs of public health in Massachusetts came together with the Massachusetts Department

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Risk Communication in Trying Times: COVID-19

EDITORIAL NOTE:  The situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve. For the most current information, please consult the websites for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization. Undoubtedly, this is an extremely trying time for public health professionals as COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, including throughout the United States. Public health professionals are working around

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Coronavirus and Local Health Departments: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Coronavirus LHDs Cynthia Morrow

EDITORIAL NOTE: The situation regarding Novel Coronavirus is still rapidly evolving. For the most current information, please consult the websites for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to be a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” (PHEIC). On January 31, Health and

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Health Inspections and What Follows: Responding to Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

Tulsa County 2019 Flooding

At DC Health, the Food Safety and Hygiene Inspection Services Division (FSHISD), part of the Health Regulation and Licensing Administration (HRLA), is responsible for conducting inspections and implementing regulations for the city’s 6,500 food establishments. The team of sanitarians, along with two supervisory and two review sanitarians, conducts more than 7,500 inspections each year, examining restaurants, delicatessens, grocery stores, bakeries,

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