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Friday, March 24, 2023

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SDSU Graduate School of Public Health Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Milestone Commemorated With Various Events April 13-14
By Lorena Nava

Studying contaminated waters off of the local coastline, researching the health of Latinos throughout San Diego County and preparing the next leaders in global emergency preparedness and response — this is the culmination of 25 years of dedication to improving public health at San Diego State's Graduate School of Public Health.

In celebration of a quarter-century of teaching, research and community involvement, the school will be hosting a variety of activities during the second weekend of April.

"This celebration commemorates many years of hard work," said GSPH Interim Director Ann de Peyster. "So many people, including faculty, students and community members, have assisted in the success of the school over the years. With our commitment to research and public service, we hope to grow into an even greater leader in the public health field during our next 25 years."

The weekend celebration kicks off at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 13 with a symposium at the Mission Valley Marriott Hotel. The following speakers and topics will address how some of the many facets of public health have changed over the years:

• Dr. Donald A. Henderson, University of Pittsburgh, will speak on "Emerging Infectious Diseases — The New Global Challenge." Dr. Henderson is the inaugural Benenson Distinguished Lecturer.

• Dr. James L. Kyle, II, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (Los Angeles, Calif.), will speak on "Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities: Planned Obsolescence."

Melbourne F. Hovell, SDSU Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health and SDSU Graduate School of Public Health, will speak on "SANTIGUA: A Study of Tobacco Use in San Diego, Tijuana and Guadalajara."

Guadalupe X. Ayala, SDSU Center for Behavioral and Community Health and SDSU Graduate School of Public Health, will speak on "Partnering with community to address health disparities: The Lay Health Advisor model."

Dr. Stephanie K. Brodine, SDSU Graduate School of Public Health, will speak on "Challenges and Strategies in HIV Prevention and Treatment in Africa: Examples from Uganda."

• Moshe Engelberg, SDSU Graduate School of Public Health and president of ResearchWorks Inc., will speak on the "Faces of Public Health: Looking from the Outside In."

• Suzanne Lindsay, executive director of the Institute for Public Health, will speak on "Conducting Research in Equal Partnership with the Communities We Serve."

P.J.E. Quintana, SDSU Graduate School of Public Health, will speak on "Promise and Pitfalls of Genetics and Genomics in Public Health."

• Kristin Garrett, executive director of Community Health Partners, San Diego, will speak on "Improving Health Care Services Through Community Collaboration."

• Dr. Michael W. Benenson, Department of Retrovirology, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences in Bangkok, Thailand, will deliver closing remarks.

Registration for the symposium is $40 and is offered at a discounted rate of $20 for students; registration includes lunch and admittance to the poster session for students. Participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible because seating is limited.

"The symposium will present a wide variety of experts from various fields of public health," de Peyster said. "Speakers will explore many of the successes and challenges of helping people and their communities in improving their health."

The anniversary weekend culminates with a gala dinner and silent auction on the evening of Saturday, April 14. The black tie optional gala dinner and silent auction will feature special guests of honor, including former California State Senator Deborah Ortiz and the founders of the school. As a part of the evening's events, guests will be treated to a flamenco performance by Morales and Co., as well as salsa and tango performances and instruction by Positive Energy.

The Graduate School of Public Health at SDSU was founded in 1980 as part of the university's new focus on health and human services. One of four nationally accredited schools of public health in California, and located in one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse areas in the country, the school provides many opportunities for education, research and community involvement to advance the state of knowledge in different health disciplines and to improve the population's health. For more information on the Graduate School of Public Health, please visit