July 2021 Newsletter
A Community Response to Increase the Public Health Workforce during a Pandemic - Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District, Texas
Annette Lerma, Director, Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District (green shirt) with staff and volunteers at the opening of the mass vaccination hub in January 2021. Senator Dawn Buckingham had a state flag flown over the Texas state capitol in recognition of the dedication and unwavering work provided by the ATCPHD and community volunteers during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
A Rural Community in the Middle of Texas

Abilene Taylor County Public Health District is a local public health entity with 57 employees who serve a county jurisdictional population of around 138,000 in the middle of Texas. The ATCPHD sees an average of 110 people for infectious disease services in any given month. As the pandemic began, it brought with it a 17-fold increase in the number of people to be served each day in an extremely rapid time period. Increasing the public health workforce “overnight” was a must! 

First Mass Vaccination Hub in January 2021

Although the past 18 months have taken its toll on the world and public health, one of the unexpected positive outcomes of the pandemic has been the new relationships forged and old relationships strengthened among our community partners here in Abilene and Taylor County. When we put word out that we needed help with our mass vaccination hub, we had over 85-90 people volunteering on any given day, creating a situation where we had to find places to put them. The overwhelming response from our pharmacy, PA and nursing schools along with retired medical personnel and those that had been displaced due to COVID layoffs came in droves to help run our hub. Each day at the hub was almost like a party. Everyone was so happy to contribute and it gave us all a sense of shared purpose.  On our busiest day, staff and volunteers administered 2500 vaccines in ten hours. Seeing our own staff working alongside our allies as if in the trenches on a battlefield was almost like a beautiful yet surreal work of art.  

Continuing Forward

Our pandemic response was a unified community labor of love; although it's not something we would have willingly walked into, it's an experience we wouldn't trade as the outcome of unity has made it a time we will cherish forever. As we continue through the pandemic and move forward to regain some “normalcy” in the services we provide, the “temporary” public health workforce will continue to be accessed to provide outreach in our community.
Registration for the Oklahoma Partners in Public Health
Virtual Conference is Now Open!
The 2021 Oklahoma Partners in Public Health Conference will be held virtually September 21-22. This year's conference theme is "Creating the Healthiest State: Small Actions, Big Impact." Conference topics include Supporting Community Partnerships, Equitable Pathways and Family Voice and Suicide Prevention and Mental Health.

Conference registration is now open! For full conference information (including a list of speakers, special guests and cost), please click here.
CDC's 8 Tips for Safe and Healthy Summertime Work and Play
Summer is officially here!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided several tips to ensure everybody has a fun and safe time this summer.

The 8 subjects covered are listed below:

  • Beat the Heat and Rays
  • Food Safety
  • Insect Protection
  • Children’s Health and Safety
  • Swimming Safety
  • Worker Safety and Health
  • Stay Up to Date on Vaccines
  • Travel Abroad Safely

Click here for a PDF download of CDC's Eight Tips for Safe and Healthy Summertime
Work and Play Infographic
News Around The Region
Removing temporary buildings, other changes signal...

Across Tulane, the quads are once again marked by student activity rather than temporary classrooms. On June 1, campus infrastructure began to take on a new look as the university emerged from the COVID-19 precautions that were enacted in 2020....

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Louisiana announces $1 million vaccine lottery

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards held a news conference to announce Louisiana's new COVID vaccine incentives that include cash and scholarships. RELATED: La.

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Course Spotlight:

Course Description:

Weaving the Threads of Culture: Working Effectively with American Indians (AI) and Alaskan Natives (AN) is a series of lessons aimed at providing you with the information needed to improve your ability to communicate more effectively with the American Indian/Alaska Native community in which you work as a health provider, health planner, counselor, or however you interact with the native communities. We will provide a view of many aspects of American Indian culture and hopefully remove any stereotypes you may have acquired over your lifetime.

Similar to the stages followed when weaving a blanket, a basket or a sash, each of the lessons will depict a different aspect of culture competence. Just as all of these actions are necessary for the weaving to be a success, the lessons in this cultural competency course are necessary to help you work effectively with American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify components of culture

  • Explain cultural competence

  • Describe the developmental model of intercultural sensitivity

  • Describe key elements of American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) culture

  • Explain Historical Trauma Response (HTR) in relation to AI/AN

For more information about
this training, please click here.
Featured Course Bundle:
Louisiana Hurricane Response Hub (LaHRH)

The Louisiana Hurricane Response Hub (LaHRH) curriculum was developed by the Louisiana Office of Public Health to provide general guidance and training to the public health workforce, response workers, volunteers, and community members who face hazards that arise after hurricanes and floods occur in Louisiana. The courses will increase awareness, understanding, and preparedness of events and hazards associated with hurricanes and floods in Louisiana communities. 

The 4 courses in this curriculum cover topics related to general safety and health considerations, heat-related illness, private water wells, and mold exposure. Local resources related to Louisiana hurricane preparedness and recovery are provided to strengthen community awareness and resilience.

Courses in the LaHRH course bundle include:

  • LaHRH 101: After the Hurricane: Potential Hazards and Disaster Recovery - 1 hour

  • LaHRH 102: Mold Exposure and Health Effects - 1 hour

  • LaHRH 103: Heat-Related Illness - Risk Factors, Types & Prevention - 1 hour

  • LaHRH 104: Protecting Your Private Well Water - 1 hour

For more information about this course bundle, please click here.
Looking for more training on a specific topic in public health? Need additional training on a current public health hot topic? We want to help you address these needs. Please email us and let us know about your current training needs/interests/issues. We will evaluate our current trainings to see if we have something that can address your area of interest. 
Email us at r6-phtc@tulane.edu.
We look forward to your feedback!