Eastern Washington University’s Master of Public Health program has partnered with the Washington State Department of Health and Spokane Regional Health District to present a series of presentations highlighting salient public health issues in the state of Washington. These presentations are held on the last Friday of every month from 4:00 – 5:00 pm and are held in the Nursing Building Room 105 on the Spokane campus. The presentations are also broadcasted for those who cannot join in person. December’s presentation was canceled due to EWU’s winter break, so January played host to two grand rounds presentations!
The fifth in the series was presented on January 11, 2019 and addressed healthcare workforce shortages. Renee Fullerton, workforce programs manager for the Washington State Department of Regional Health, was the speaker at the presentation. Renee discussed issues faced by rural communities, who experience the highest healthcare and social assistance workforce shortages in the state of Washington. She then answered audience questions about how these workforce shortages are currently being addressed within the state of Washington through community health centers, loan repayment programs for healthcare professionals, and increased residency opportunities in rural communities.
Following closely after on January 25, 2019 was the sixth presentation in the grand rounds series entitled, “The Value of Water: Systems and Workforce to Ensure the Future of our Water Supply.” Nathan Ikehara, from the Washington Department of Health Office of Drinking Water’s Engineering and Technical Services Section and Chris McCord, Deputy Director of Central Services for the Office of Drinking Water at the Washington State Department of Health were the speakers at the presentation. The speakers discussed the history of drinking water innovation and its connection to the availability, safety, and reliability of water. They also touched on ways we can address the water sector workforce gap. Ikehara and McCord then answered audience questions about the steps individuals and communities can take to help conserve and protect water quality.
Students, faculty, health professionals, and the community at large are the audience for the Public Health Grand Rounds, but all are invited to participate. With each monthly presentation, the hope is to feature the important work that is being done to protect and inform people and improve the quality of life for the community. Attendees will learn more about major public health issues, key challenges, evidence-based practice, potential solutions, and the context that influences our health every day. Future topics include aging in rural areas, firearm injury and violence, and Medicaid transformation. Join us again on Friday, February 22 for the next Public Health Grand Rounds on aging in rural areas!