Thursday, November 21, 2013

Talk: Disparities in African American Health

David R. Williams
Mark your calendars for a talk by David R. Williams. Dr. Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University.

Dr. Williams’ research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which socioeconomic status, race, stress, racism and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health.

The talk is sponsored by the Center for Research on Health Disparities, Department of Applied Health Science, and the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington.

  • Where: Frangipani Room, Indiana Memorial Union, 900E. 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405
  • When: December 5, 2013, 4pm

Leadership void, not lack of money, slows efforts to address cervical cancer

A study by Indiana University public health researchers found that the opportunity for significant progress in addressing cervical cancer across the country is being squandered -- not because of a lack of money -- but because of a void of leadership and organization at the state levels.

"We focus on cervical cancer because it is likely the 'low-hanging fruit' opportunity to beat a cancer in this generation," said Dr. Beth Meyerson, a health policy expert at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and co-director of the Center for Rural AIDS/STD Prevention. "We have the tools of HPV vaccination, screening and treatment; but uninsured women and women of color experience huge health disparities. This is the signal that we have a health system problem."
Meyerson and her research colleagues conducted interviews with 15 professionals working in programs involving cervical cancer. These included federal and state government breast and cervical cancer programs; women's health and cancer control; national advocacy organizations engaged in sexual health and cancer; legislative affairs; researchers working in cervical cancer intervention and evaluation; state coalitions engaged in cervical cancer efforts; and partners from industry working on diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

IU School of Public Health-Bloomington makes a splash at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting

Over 13,000 national and international physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and related health specialists converged on Boston from November 2-6 for the 141st American Public Health Association annual meeting. 

Among that throng were Indiana University researchers, including graduate students and faculty members of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington attending sessions and presenting research findings. 

In addition, the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington had a substantial presence at the Public Health Expo were a host of visitors to the school’s exhibition booth were greeted by a new impressive display where faculty, staff, and student volunteers eagerly answered questions and provided information about the school and its programs.

As part of the presence in Boston this year, Dean Torabi hosted a reception attended by dozens of IU alumni, school alumni, and distinguished guests, including former IU Vice President Ed Marshall and Indiana Public Health Association President Jerry King. Dean Torabi premiered the new IU School of Public Health video “Preventing Disease, Promoting Health, Improving Quality of Life.”

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Stay connected to IUSPHB team as they travel to Ghana

Researchers from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington plan to use recreational sports, in the form of basketball, soccer and volleyball after-school programs, to help boys and girls in Ghana Africa avoid problems associated with substance abuse and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.

Funded with a two-year grant from the U.S. Department of State-Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, the IU team will work with partners at the University of Cape Coast and local government officials in Apewosika Township, a rural area along the Gulf of Guinea, to train the coaches and sport personnel needed to conduct the after-school programs.

Dr. Sarah Young and Dr. Bill Ramos from the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies are teaming up with Cecilia Obeng, associate professor in the Department of Applied Health Science, and Debby Herbenick, co-director of the school's Center for Sexual Health Promotion, for the health and wellness component of YES-Ghana. Samuel Obeng, director of the African Studies Program at IU Bloomington, also is a key part of the IU team.

You're invited to follow them on social media as they start their journey!

Monday, November 18, 2013

IU School of Public Health-Bloomington video premiere

To mark the momentous transition to the new IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, recognizing the school’s heralded past while embracing its bright future, the Dean commissioned a new video

It brings together students, administrators,  alumni, and staff to talk about the importance of the school’s new vision. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ditty bag of condoms, home-use instructions lead to improved comfort and consistency with condom use

Roberta Emetu    
A new and successful strategy for combating the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV draws from an old idea: Practice is fundamental to learning, even when it involves using condoms correctly.

The Kinsey Institute Homework Intervention Strategy gives men a "ditty bag" full of condoms and lubricants, makes sure the men understand how to apply condoms correctly, and then assigns homework. The men are expected to try out at least six condoms solo, paying particular attention to their own pleasure and which condoms they like best.
"It's such a simple idea, but nobody has every structured an approach like this," said William L. Yarber, professor in the Indiana University School of Public-Health-Bloomington and senior director of the Center for AIDS/STD prevention. Yarber is co-author of the study, "A novel, self-guided, home-based intervention to improve condom use among young men who have sex with men," which were discussed Nov. 6. "These are pilot studies. But even with small samples, the results are really good. Men become more motivated to use condoms; they use them more correctly and consistently. They also appreciate learning that there are different condoms available."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Eppley Institute to offer Great Lakes Park Training Institute in 2014

Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington provides a unique outreach program for the park, recreation and public land management professions and works to enhance the quality of natural, cultural, and recreational experiences for all people. The institute provides expertise in several areas, including technical assistance and research, planning and design, and training and education for the National Park Service and other similar organizations around the world.

The Great Lakes Park Training Institute (GLPTI), one of the institute’s annual educational opportunities, has provided professional training opportunities for park and recreation professionals in municipal, county, state, regional, and national agencies for over 68 years. The 2014 GLPTI, scheduled for February 24th -27th, will take place at Indiana’s Pokagon State Park in the Potawatomi Inn featuring a blend of hands-on workshops, discussion panels, and presentations.

The 4-day training opportunity will include hands-on workshops including sessions on timber maintenance and chainsaw use, identifying changing visitor types in parks, and ADA requirements for parks. Discussion panels, demonstrations and, lectures on topics ranging from high-risk recreation maintenance to interpretive programs will occur throughout the week, with the highly anticipated “gadgets” session, which allows participants to share tools and inventions they’ve created to make their own jobs a little easier. taking center stage mid-week.

Find information about the Great Lakes Park Training Institute, including the Registration Book, Institute schedule, and Online Registration Form, at

Friday, November 15, 2013

Conversations about STIs are important in theory but difficult

Margo Mullinax
Having sex can be fun; and talking about sex can be fun. Talking about sexually transmitted infections with a sexual interest, however, is a totally different matter, according to new research from Indiana University's Center for Sexual Health Promotion.
The study found a disconnect between the public health messages that promote STI testing as a way to prevent STIs such as HIV and chlamydia and the conversations -- or lack of them -- occurring in bedrooms.

"Talking to partners about STIs is an important conversation to have," said Margo Mullinax, lead researcher for "Talk about testing: What sexual partners discuss in relation to STI status and why." "However, findings from this study suggest public health campaigns need to promote specific messages, concrete tips and tools around sexual health conversations stratified by relationship status. Campaigns should also address STI stigma and promote messages of normalcy with regard to talking about STIs."

Friday, November 1, 2013

Alan Ewert receives the 2013 Association for Experiential Education Distinguished Researcher Award

Alan Ewert
Alan Ewert, Interim Department Chair of the Department of Environmental Health at the IU School of Public Health Bloomington and President of the Academy of Leisure Sciences has received the 2013 Association for Experiential Education Distinguished Researcher Award.

The work of experiential educators is unique, inspiring and meaningful, and contributes greatly to the well-being and education of individuals, communities and work environments. There are many outstanding, often unsung, experiential practitioners whose high standards, commitment and contributions have inspired others to dream and to act. AEE Awards recognize individuals and organizations for their contributions to the theory of experiential education and their service to AEE. 

The mission of the Association for Experiential Education is to develop and promote experiential education, an approach to education which believes that interaction between a teacher and student infuses direct experience with the learning environment and content, yielding better outcomes.