SPH Dean addresses record crowd at United States Public Health Service Symposium


Published: June 19, 2018

By Sally Crocker

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Dr. Dennis Thombs, Dean of the UNTHSC School of Public Health, recently spoke to a capacity crowd of more than 1,200 attendees at the 2018 United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Scientific and Training Symposium in Dallas.

The SPH was chosen as this year’s Academic Partner for the event, which brings U.S. Public Health Service members together with health professionals from across the country for continuing education, to build peer relationships and to gain valuable information on advances in health care and public health.

Key government leaders represented on the program included the Assistant Secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services, ADM Brett Giroir, MD, and U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, MD, MPH.

As one of the event’s opening presenters, focused on this year’s theme of “Ensuring Health for Generations to Come: Science Matters,” Dr. Thombs had an opportunity to share information on academics and research at UNTHSC and ways that faculty, students and alumni are helping to find solutions for improved public health and a healthier nation.

A number of SPH researchers were also invited to speak at select breakout sessions, including:

  • Scott Walters, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Health Behavior and Health Systems: “m.chat: Integrating Health Coaching and Technology with Vulnerable Clients
  • Erika Thompson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Health Behavior and Health Systems: “A Social Determinants of Health Approach to HPV Vaccination among Young Adult Women, National Health Interview 2016
  • Marcy Paul, PhD, Assistant Professor, Health Behavior and Health Systems: “#PPEPtalk Texas – A Life Course and Peer Preconception Health Education Program in Texas
  • Erica Stockbridge, PhD, Assistant Professor, Health Behavior and Health Systems:Public Health/Private Healthcare Sector Initiatives to Forward Domestic Tuberculosis Elimination
  • SPH student Jialiang Liu with Menghua Tao, PhD, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Biostatistics and Epidemiology: “Comparison of Micronutrient Intakes by Body Weight Level among African American and Hispanic Women
  • Dana Litt, PhD, Associate Professor, Health Behavior and Health Systems:I Tweet, Therefore I Am: Examining the Relations Between Alcohol-related Twitter Content and Alcohol Cognitions and Alcohol Use among Young Adults
  • Melissa Lewis, PhD, Professor, Health Behavior and Health Systems: “Evaluating Personalized Feedback Intervention Framing with a Randomized Controlled Trial to Reduce Young Adult Alcohol-related Sexual Risk Taking
  • Harvey Brenner, PhD, Professor, Health Behavior and Health Systems: “Impact of Patient and Hospital Economic Resources on Patient Safety and Hospital Mortality
  • SPH student Leslie Allsopp with David Sterling, PhD, CIH, ROH, Professor, Biostatistics and Epidemiology: “Estimating School Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution, to Inform Siting of Lower Cost Air Monitors and Support Measures to Reduce Risk

“It was very exciting for our school to serve as this year’s Academic Partner and to meet with so many public health, health care and government representatives from around the country who are making a difference in the lives of others,” Dr. Thombs said. “Many of our alumni pursue careers with the U.S. Public Health Service, making this opportunity even more meaningful as we reconnected and they shared details on their experiences in the field.”