F1: Bridging the Classroom and Community: Training the Next Generation of Health Equity Advocates

Academic Health Department partnerships can be an important tool in the public health modernization movement. The focus of this work was to create a new partnership between the University of Portland Integrative Health and Wellness Program and Columbia County Public Health in order to address health equity in rural communities. A vaccine promotion campaign was developed that focused on equity, inclusion and positive framing. The benefits of this new partnership and campaign were threefold: an increase in vaccinations, filling a need for an under resourced rural health department and students gaining valuable health equity advocacy experience. This partnership model can be an effective tool in moving rural counties towards public health modernization and meeting the needs of foundational programs while training the next generation of public health professionals.

Cam Escoffery, PhD, MPH, CHES® (Moderator)

SOPHE Past President

Emory Rollins School of Public Health

Dr. Cam Escoffery is a Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at the Rollins School of Public Health.  Dr. Escoffery is a health educator and behavioral scientist by training.  She has a PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior with an emphasis in Instructional Technology.  She has conducted research for over 25 years on health promotion, cancer prevention and control, health technology, implementation science and evaluation.  She has served as PI on grants funded by the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society and Healthcare Georgia Foundation. She has published widely on various topics in health promotion, dissemination and implementation science, and cancer control research. Currently, she is on the Editorial Board of several leading journals for health promotion including Health Promotion Practice, Health Education & Behavior, and American Journal of Health Behavior. Her implementation science work has been published in Translational Behavioral Medicine,  Implementation Science, and Evaluation and Program Planning.  She enjoys teaching community-engaged and health promotion skills-oriented courses and building capacity around implementation research in the school.

Andrew Lafrenz, PhD, MPH, MS

Director of the Integrative Health and Wellness Program, Associate Professor

University of Portland

Andrew Lafrenz is the Director of the Integrative Health and Wellness Program and an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Portland. Upon finishing his MPH and PhD, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in epidemiology with the CDC. During that fellowship, he worked with the Wyoming Department of Health analyzing maternal and child health data related to obesity, physical activity, and nutrition. His work in translational epidemiology for the state of Wyoming produced a widely praised report and infographics. Andrew also served as the nutrition education coordinator for the award winning 3 to Ph.D. program, a partnership between Portland Public Schools and Concordia University. His career in higher education spans 18 years of teaching courses ranging from Anatomy and Physiology to Epidemiology and Community Organizing. Andrew’s research focuses on behavioral epidemiology, health behavior, and health promotion related to obesity, physical activity, and nutrition across the lifespan. He also serves as an Epidemiologist and Disease Investigator on the Columbia County Public Health COVID-19 response team. His focus during the pandemic has been improving health disparities related to COVID-19 and training the next generation of public health professionals to be compassionate, equity-focused advocates.


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10 Questions
0.75 Entry CECH/CPH CE Credit credits  |  No certificate available
0.75 Entry CECH/CPH CE Credit credits  |  No certificate available