Melinda Caron, MPH Candidate
Title: Developing an educational library of public health information for residents and local business to keep them informed and empowered on by-laws and local regulations
Organization: Town of Westford Health Department, Westford MA
Mentor: Sandy Collins, R.N., Health Director
Summary: The health department is responsible for enforcing policy enacted by the Westford Board of Health and as a result, department employees are called upon to provide guidance on how to comply with town bylaws and local regulations. The goal of this project is to review and interpret the newly amended hazardous materials storage bylaw and develop a clear and concise training program that allows local businesses to understand their role in managing hazardous materials safely and in accordance with local regulations. Additionally, this project allows for the expansion of education materials which the town can use to educate the public and local business on a range of other public health topics, such as nail salon safety, demolition activities, well testing and healthy lakes and ponds education.
Kyle Dopfel, MPH Candidate
Title: Workplace Best Practices for Tickborne Illness Prevention
Organizations: Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Institute on Disability, UNH
Environmental Public Health Tracking, Division of Public Health Services, NH DHHS
Mentors: Karla Armenti, Principal Investigator (OHSP) :Kathleen Bush, Program Manager (EPHT)
Summary: Tick bites and tick borne illnesses, most notably Lyme disease, are a growing public health threat of particular concern in the northeast region of the United States. Workers that engage in fieldwork and other outdoor activities are at an increased risk of tick bites. The objective of this project is to collect information on current policies and practices related to tickborne illness prevention in the workplace among New Hampshire State Agencies. Ultimately, analysis of this information will be integrated into recommendations for best practices for occupational prevention strategies.
Kelly Gaynor, MPH Candidate
Title: Needle Disposal Community Guide
Organization: Department of Public Health and Community Services- Nashua, NH
Mentor: Beverly Doolan, Program Coordinator/Grants manager
Summary: This project focuses on the development of a community guide for the Nashua area that provides information on proper needle disposal techniques. Proper needle disposal is important to practice for both environmental reasons and for the protection of waste disposal workers and volunteers who do community clean ups. The objective is to provide educational tools for local community partners to distribute to Nashua citizens that may use medical sharps or have a family member/friend who uses sharps. The creation of the community guide involved surveying, data analysis, research, and developing health education materials.
Ashley Jones, MPH Candidate
Title: NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration White Paper: A Project Supervised by the NH Institute of Disability
Organization: NH Institute on Disability, UNH
Mentor: Kimberly Phillips, Project Director, Co-Chair of Equity Task Force
Summary: This project focuses on the breast, cervical and colon cancer screening rates in New Hampshire among social disparities including those with disabilities, those who are non-white and those who live in poverty. The equity task force will also strive to develop an intervention which will effectively increase rates. The objective of this project is to develop a final white paper which gives an overview of relevant data sets, a description of the team's progress, suggestions for improvements and the future plans of the collaboration.
Constance Kim, MPH Candidate
Title: Factors that May Influence HIV Medication Adherence in Sexually Abused Women
Organization: Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
Mentor: Meredith Scannell, MPH, RN, NP, PhD(c)
Summary: The projects focus is to identify socio-ecological factors (individual level) that may influence nPEP (HIV medication) adherence and their follow-up compliance. This research study will help contribute to a gap in the literature on lack of information on why women throughout Massachusetts who have been sexually assaulted do not adhere or complete nPEP. As a result, this could help with specific interventions on our targeted population.
Sarah Proctor, DVM, MPH Candidate
Title: Importation of dogs and cats into NH: A zoonotic disease risk assessment of pet rescue activity
Organization: NH Dept. of Agriculture, Markets, and Food: Division of Animal Industry
Mentor: Steve Crawford, DVM; NH State Veterinarian and Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Animal Industry
Summary: There is high demand and limited supply of adoptable pets in New England animal shelters, whereas many southern shelters must euthanize a high proportion of animals. This imbalance has created a market for the importation of pets from south to north. There are concerns that pets imported for this purpose may carry infectious and zoonotic disease, although the true risks surrounding pet importation have not been quantified. This project focuses on the presence of zoonotic and other infectious disease in pets transported into NH for adoption. The objective of this project is to assess disease rates in both imported and local pet populations by summarizing state veterinary office records and by designing, conducting, and analyzing a survey of NH veterinarians. This information will guide future dog importation regulations in NH.
Margaret H. Schmidt, J.D., M.P.H. Candidate
Title: Advocating for Effective Policies and Evidence-Based Programs to Prevent and Address Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence at Institutions of Higher Education
Organization: Prevention Innovations Research Center, UNH
Mentors: Sharyn J. Potter, Ph.D., M.P.H. and Jane Stapleton, M.A.- Co-Directors of Prevention Innovations Research Center
Summary: In recent years the media has exposed how institutions of higher education struggle to address college campus sexual and intimate partner violence. Sexual and intimate partner violence affects student victim’s educational experience and health outcomes as well as affecting the social cohesion of campus communities. Further, institutions of higher education continue to struggle to be in compliance with Title IX and the Clery Act and applicable U.S. Department of Education regulations and guidance. This project seeks to explain basic requirements of Title IX and the Clery Act and advocate for the use of effective polices and evidence-based practices to prevent and improve the response to sexual and intimate partner violence at institutions of higher education.
Rebecca Sky, MPH Candidate
Title: Measuring Community Wellbeing and its Determinants
Organization: National Committee on Vital Statistics Subcommittee on Population Health
Mentor: Gib Parrish, MD, Consultant to National Committee on Vital Statistics Subcommittee on Population Health, US DHHS
Summary: This project will serve to inform a proposal for a roadmap for HHS to identify measures of community well-being and its determinants across all essential domains that will work at various geographic levels from neighborhood to the nation, and that will enable partnerships among sectors at all geographic levels. The project work will combine a theoretical review of existing measures of community vitality with application of measures to a New Hampshire community. Final output of this project will include recommendations for 10 to 12 domains to be included in the proposal.
Haeley Stewart, MPH Candidate
Title: Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity Environment in Childcare
Organization: UNH Cooperative Extension, Durham, NH
Mentor: Debbie Luppold, Extension Professor/Specialist: Food and Nutrition, RD,LD
Summary: This project focuses on improving the health of young children in childcare settings. In the United States, childhood obesity has doubled in the past thirty years.1 Currently, 1 in 5 children are categorized as overweight and 17% of children are categorized as obese.1 The goal of this project is to ensure that childcare centers have policies in place regarding nutrition and physical activity to help improve rates of childhood overweightness, obesity and overall health and wellness. The objectives of this project are to assess what policies childcare centers currently have surrounding nutrition and physical activity, if any, and provide those childcare centers suggestions on policies to implement, policies to edit and a plan to try and put those edits or policies in place.
Ashley Valdes, MPH Candidate
Title: Breastfeeding and Work Survey Project
Field Placement Organization: NH Occupational Health Surveillance Program/WIC Breastfeeding/Nutrition Services Section, Division of Public Health Services
Mentors: Karla Armenti, Ms, ScD, Principal Investigator/Program Manager; Lissa Sirois, RD, IBCLC WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator
Summary: Breastfeeding rates for working mothers in New Hampshire need improvement. The overall objective of the pilot study is to better understand the barriers to women breastfeeding after childbirth, particularly focused on workplace policies and support practices that encourage or discourage breastfeeding after returning to work while working with the Maternal and Child Health Section, WIC, and the NH Breastfeeding Task Force. My involvement in the five year study is to participate in early survey development for WIC mothers. The survey will help determine current barriers WIC mothers have while breastfeeding. Initial survey development will determine if the survey is effective in meeting project goals. In the future, this pilot study may help to influence NH policy on worksite breastfeeding practices.