Volume 2.7 | November 1, 2018
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine's Population Science and Policy is excited to bring you The Pioneer Pulse, a monthly supplement to our larger quarterly newsletter, The Pioneer .
A major goal of the Department of Population Science and Policy (PSP) is to share our information and work with others to increase awareness of rural health disparities. PSP regularly participates in conferences, panel discussions and other events to showcase our innovative solutions and collaborate with other like-minded organizations. PSP Department Chair Dr. Sameer Vohra's October engagements include a panel discussion about children’s health disparities with other thought leaders in an event hosted by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab, and the Illinois Department of Public Health Diabetes Quality Improvement Meeting discussion about understanding and improving population level outcomes for diabetes.

November will also be a big month for the Department to share its work with relevant healthcare and medical professionals at the American Public Health Association National Conference in San Diego and the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference in Orlando.

At the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) conference from Nov. 2-6, Department Chair Dr. Vohra and Assistant to the Chair Heather Whetsell are presenting “Identifying Opportunities for Healthier Kids, Families and Community: An Analysis of the Health Needs of a Rural School and its Community” and a poster titled “Building Healthy Logan County Futures: A Community Health Collaborative and its process to Improve Children’s Health Outcomes.”

The American Public Health Association (APHA) conference is Nov. 10-14 and brings together members from all fields of public health. The Department of Population Science and Policy is proud to have a significant presence at this event. Dr. Vohra and Heather Whetsell will give a presentation titled “Building a Regional Infrastructure to Research and Improve Rural Population Health Outcomes." Population Science Research Specialist Christofer Rodriguez will share his and Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division Chief Wiley Jenkins' findings in a presentation titled “Results from a Pretest and Postest Survey of 6th Graders Receiving Sexual Health Curriculum in Peoria County, IL.” Finally, Research Assistant Professor Min Jee Lee's poster, titled “Medication Use for Depression among Cancer Survivors in the United States,” was accepted for inclusion in the conference.

Please let us know if you will be at any of these events and would like to connect or learn more!
Rural Illinois residents face significant challenges and health disparities compared to residents in the state's metropolitan areas, according to a report released by SIU School of Medicine Department of Population Science and Policy, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, UIC School of Public Health, SIU School of Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

This report, titled “ THE STATE OF RURAL HEALTH IN ILLINOIS: Great Challenges and a Path Forward,” details some of the major health challenges faced by rural residents and encourages all people in Illinois – rural and urban – to work together to close rural health disparities.
Department of Population Science and Policy Health Policy Specialist Kimberly Palermo recently helped lead the organization of a sold-out conference about human trafficking. The conference, titled “They Never Asked,” focused on labor and sex trafficking training for physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, administrators and others involved in any health care setting. National and regional speakers provided education regarding trauma-informed care, working with law enforcement and the FBI, the medical exam and developing institutional protocols. Survivors spoke about experiences and recommended improvements when encountering patients in the health care setting.

Congratulations, Kimberly, for this successful conference and thank you for shining light on this important subject.
New PSP Research Assistant Professor Eric Adjei Boakye has recently published two scholarly articles: Sociodemographic Factors Associated with Engagement in Diabetes Self-management Education Among People with Diabetes in the United States and Suicide Risk Among Cancer Survivors: Head and Neck Versus Other Cancers. PSP looks forward to incorporating Eric's knowledge to our projects in central and southern Illinois.
Dr. Sameer Vohra was interviewed by multiple outlets regarding the Rural Health Summit report. Learn more about rural health challenges in the State Journal-Register and WAND TV segment.
The Department of Population Science and Policy was featured in the Illinois Rural Health Association newsletter for being awarded the 2018 Award of Merit at IRHA’s annual conference.
Population Science and Policy faculty and staff are routinely invited to speak at local, statewide and national events. If you are interested in learning more about our Department or would like to have a member of the Department attend or speak at your local event, please contact us at psp@siumed.edu .
Subscribe to The Pioneer and its monthly supplement, The Pioneer Pulse.