With 2018 wrapping and it is important to reflect on the breadth of efforts taking place across the nation to address population focused on improving the health of individuals where they live, work, learn, and play.
With the increasing rates of mortality and morbidity attributable to chronic diseases and associated risk factors, including social, economic, and environmental factors, the need to build the capacity of public health professionals is essential. In the current era of public health, there is a call to action need to expand the scope and reach of public health to address all factors that promote health and well-being, including education, transportation, housing, economic development (Fraser, Castrucci, & Harger, 2017). Professional development is an integral component to build capacity to expand the scope and reach of the public health workforce.
This time of year is full of food related memories. Crisp caramel apples, my father’s over the top Thanksgiving desserts, Nana’s Christmas cannoli and my mother’s dry turkey. It’s also a time to reflect and give thanks for what we have but also to recognize that we have a long way to go to ensure that everyone has adequate access to and ability to purchase healthy foods.
Often times I am asked about my work with tribal nations from family, friends, and colleagues and what that work entails. I lead the community engagement efforts with the Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health (CRCAIH) to help tribes build their research infrastructure. Five tribes, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Tribal Nations Research Group with the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Indians. Each tribal nation approaches how they build their infrastructure and capacity in various ways and have partnered with CRCAIH at different times in the last 6 years. What does that mean and why, is usually the follow up question.