CPH hosts Mental Health First Aid Training Course

mental health first aid logoThe College of Public Health recently hosted the Mental Health First Aid Training Course. Julie Baker and Nancy Adrianse, both with the Iowa Primary Care Association in Urbandale, provided the 8-hour training. Diane Rohlman, associate professor of occupational and environmental health, with support from the CPH Diversity Committee, organized the training as part of her Topics in Agricultural and Rural Health course, which focused on mental health in rural areas this semester.

In addition to raising awareness about different types of mental illness, the Mental Health First Aid course provides participants with the key skills and resources necessary to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. These skills and resources include the identification of risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, as well as a 5-step action plan to help a person in crisis connect with appropriate professional help.

In attendance were 25 University of Iowa faculty, staff, and students who received certification in Mental Health First Aid upon completion of the training. Participants represented the Departments of Occupational and Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Public Health Administration, and Community and Behavioral Health in the College of Public Health, as well as the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

According to a post-training survey, 92 percent of respondents said that they found the training useful and 100 percent would recommend the training to others. Some feedback included: “The Mental Health First Aid course was very informative and I suggest it be added to the curriculum for all first-year students,” and “I think the information is useful to those who have no background in any of the mentioned mental health topics. This is useful as a basic primer. Though this should be mandatory for all faculty and staff.”

For more information about Mental Health First Aid, please visit their website at https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/.


Afifi named interim head of the Department of Community and Behavioral Health

portrait of Rema AfifiDr. Rema Afifi has accepted the appointment to serve as interim head of the college’s Department of Community and Behavioral Health, effective June 1.

Afifi is an outstanding teacher and researcher who provides proven leadership in academic and practice arenas. She is currently leading the department’s development of new strategic priorities, which makes her an ideal candidate to serve in this interim capacity.

A nationwide search to identify a new permanent head of community and behavioral health will commence this summer.

Afifi engages in public health research and practice with intent to promote social, community, and policy environments conducive to well-being. Whenever possible, she uses methods of Community Based Participatory Research; applies an ecological lens to the understanding of the issues; engages multiple disciplines to widen the perspectives on any topic; and emphasizes knowledge transfer of research to practice and policy. She is specifically interested in intervention and implementation science.

MPHTC co-sponsors annual APHA Region VII Affiliates meeting

Group photo at APHA Region VII meeting in May 2018On May 17-18, the Iowa Public Health Association hosted the annual meeting of the APHA Region VII Affiliates – Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas (MINK). The Midwestern Public Health Training Center (MPHTC) and Iowa Cancer Consortium were sponsors of the conference, which included key note presentations and panels covering an array of timely public health issues.

Recorded content from the two-day meeting will be made available courtesy of the Midwestern Public Health Training Center.

IPHA thanks all who contributed to this convening, from its planning team (Rachel Schramm and Laurie Walkner) to its BOD members, presenters, sponsors, and hosts (UI Pappajohn Education Center and American Cancer Society).

Photo courtesy of IPHA

Park Road Bridge closed for the summer starting May 14

The Park Road Bridge near Hancher Auditorium, which connects Park Road to North Dubuque Street, will close this summer from May 14 to Aug. 17, according to a release from the city of Iowa City. Drivers who use the bridge will need to seek alternate routes and allow for extra travel time as delays will occur.

The closure is part of Iowa City’s Gateway Project, a construction effort to replace the Park Road Bridge and elevate North Dubuque Street by 10 feet. Designed to reduce traffic problems resulting from flooding, the project began in May 2016 and the city anticipates it to be complete this year.

To maintain service during the closure, University of Iowa Parking and Transportation will adjust CAMBUS routes and schedules beginning May 12.

Access to Hancher Auditorium, Upper and Lower City Parks, and City Park Pool will remain open. The city of Iowa City advises drivers to use Riverside Drive and Park Road from the west. The East Hancher Access Road is expected to be closed until July 24.

Access to Mayflower Residence Hall, as well as homes and apartments adjacent to North Dubuque Street, will be maintained through the remaining construction.

Pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the Iowa River will be detoured to the Hancher Pedestrian Bridge.

City of Iowa City news release with maps

Cambus changes and maps