Raising Awareness: UIW Set to Recognize National Public Health Week

April 1, 2022

Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions buildingTogether, we can build a healthier, stronger and safer community.

The University of the Incarnate Word Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions is set to recognize National Public Health Week from April 4-10, with a theme that focuses on the impact of public health in the community.

“UIW has a deep history of embracing and advocating a wide range of social justice issues,” said Heather Barton-Weston PhD, CWWS, UIW assistant professor. “Although most individuals may not tie public health to social justice, the two topics very much coincide.”

At UIW, students, faculty and staff have the ability to play an important role in raising awareness about public health and prevention. As the University hosts events on April 5 (“Criminal Justice and Mental Health: The Missing Conversation”), April 6 (“San Antonio Health Inequity: Past, Present, and Future”) and April 8 (“Coffee and Donuts: COVID-19 Student-to-Student Discussion”), the community examines critical issues and education that are important to improving the nation’s health.

On Tuesday, April 5, there will be a discussion on “Criminal Justice and Mental Health: The Missing Conversation.” The discussion will focus on problems and possible solutions to the current criminal justice system, as well as the impact it has on mental health. Dr. Doshi Piper, UIW associate professor of Criminal Justice, will moderate as the University welcomes three special presenters: Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, Honorable Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez and Dr. Alexander Testa, assistant professor of Criminology at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

Wednesday, April 6, will feature another group of presenters as Dr. John Kainer, UIW assistant professor of Sociology, moderates “San Antonio Health Inequity: Past, Present and Future.” This open and honest conversion examines the ongoing struggle of health equity in San Antonio, including health disparities, challenges and implications of policy on health inequities. Congressman Charles Gonzales, Claude A. Jacob, public health director at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, and Dr. Erica Sosa, associate professor and associate dean for Research at UTSA, will present.

UIW rounds out the week with “Coffee and Donuts: COVID-19 Student-to-Student Discussion” on Friday, April 8. COVID-19 lockdowns have been challenging, as has transitioning back to “normal” life. The event, hosted by the UIW Health Educators Organization and moderated by UIW’s Vaxambassadors, focuses on the struggles UIW students have faced over the last two years.

“Issues such as criminal justice, mental health, health inequities, and the pandemic affect us all either directly or indirectly,” added Barton-Weston. “It is our duty as Christians and good humans to care enough about one another that we seek out the truth and provide assistance in any way we can.”

Learn more about Public Health Week.