students together in front of sign for MPH week

During the first full week of April each year, institutions across the country recognize the contributions of public health professionals during National Public Health Week. 

According to the American Public Health Association, the theme for this year’s event is “Building Bridges to Better Health.”

“After spending the past year trying to find new ways to improve community health amid a pandemic, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the accomplishments of public health workers,” says Brian Martin, PhD, Associate Dean for Administration, EVMS School of Health Professions, and Director of the Master of Public Health program. “The pandemic has put public health under a spotlight like never before.” 

During a pandemic, public health officials are responsible for many critical roles, including contact tracing; disease tracking; developing and testing vaccines; creating public health messaging and setting guidelines for schools.

One area of growing concern surrounding the pandemic is mental health. “We are seeing people suffering from losing loved ones, the impacts of isolation, stress and job loss,” Dr. Martin says. “We want to help people facing these issues, so we are partnering with the Norfolk State University Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work for a virtual seminar during National Public Health Week.”

The grand rounds discussion, “Is COVID getting you down?” will look at the mental health impacts of the virus and how to mitigate those effects. The virtual seminar will be live on the EVMS Facebook page on Thursday, April 8, at 6 p.m. Learn more about the virtual event.

Additional resources on coping during COVID-19 can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website