Great news for public health: Our nutrition facts label is changing – in three years

First lady Michelle Obama announced an important public health win yesterday: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is changing the nutrition facts label in some significant ways, The new changes take effect for large manufactures on July 26, 2018. Smaller companies will have an extra year to comply.

Here’s the FDA guidance (basically a fact sheet and FAQs page rolled into one).

This is HUGE, people!  The changes include – wait for it…. a line for added sugar! That’s right. Went to bed on this news last night and was so happy I could hardly sleep. Woke up this morning and found out I was NOT dreaming!

Seriously DO go out and read the guidance. It’s quick, clear, and if you care about food and healthy eating you will do a little happy dance.

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Great Changes Happening for CWU Public Health!

PH major moving to new departmental home:
You may have heard a bit about this news on the wind, but now it’s official! As of July 1, 2016, the Purser Building will hold a new department – Health Sciences. Your public health faculty team is thrilled, as are our new colleagues in Nutrition, Exercise Science, and Paramedicine. We’re all working toward the same big-picture goal, after all: improving health, from both an individual and a population perspective.

We anticipate new opportunities for collaborative and engaged research, teaching, and service, and are looking forward to growing together as a new academic community.

Dr. Pearson taking on interim department chair duties:
Starting in June, I’ll be serving as the department chair for our new unit’s first year. Because of this new role, I won’t be able to serve as faculty supervisor for summer interns, but I’m still very committed to student success and to our fantastic placement partners. If you’ve been working with me to establish your Learning Agreement, and we’re still in progress, I’m happy to see that through before transferring responsibility for your supervision to Dr. Madlem. If we haven’t started working together yet and you know you’re planning a summer internship (whether 5 credits or all 10), please visit with Dr. M immediately. She’ll be an outstanding link for you as you take this leap out into the profession and prepare for your future.

AND – no matter what – be sure to keep me posted about your amazing internship experiences! Getting to hear what you’re doing, and learning, out in our field is truly a professional high point for me every year. I can’t miss it!

New PUBH prefix for public health classes:
One of our latest curricular strengthening efforts, the change from HED to PUBH as a course prefix, has just been approved. This means that when you go to register for fall classes (maybe tomorrow?) you’ll be registering for courses such as PUBH 230 and PUBH 470, rather than HED…

That’s all for now. Remember, we have a tremendous public health program here at CWU, and that isn’t changing. Questions? Concerns? Stop by my office or call or send an email.

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Happy May – and some current PH thinking!

How about a few words on political apathy and public health issues – straight from Georges Benjamin, the current Executive Director of APHA?

Next up – a quick (3-minute) video on Healthier Washington, with key policymakers discussing an important pilot happening in SW Washington.

Spend a few minutes and keep current with our field!

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Community Health Worker training starts Thursday – FREE, and here at CWU!

The Washington State Dept of Health offers a Community Health Worker (CHW) Training, and we are bringing it to campus. Training starts Thurs April 13 with a 9am to 3pm Opening Day, follows up with several weeks of small, straightforward online components, and ends Thurs June 2 with a 9am to noon closing session. The Opening Day comes with LUNCH.

Participating students will be eligible to join an on-campus group, the Peer Health Associates Network (PHAN), CWU plans to establish next fall.

Click here for details about the training and the plans for PHAN, and sign up for the training at Wa State CHW training registration link

Questions? Call or email Dr. Pearson at 509-963-2493 or

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Terrific CDC Resource – State-specific Prevention Status Reports!

Wow! Just received word about an excellent resource in the CDC Weekly Digest Bulletin email: the Prevention Status Reports for 2015. Take a look and consider how local public health folks – and public health students – might use these well-organized, concise, but in-depth reports showing how (and how well) states are addressing priority health issues.

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Second “1st Monday” event coming up! Monday March 7

We’ll have KCPH staff and two CWU Public Health students sharing their experiences from last month’s Legislative Day! Join us. This will be a great presentation.

Monday, March 7 – 8 to 9:30am – we’ll bring the coffee and goodies!

Again, First Mondays take place in Purser Hall Room 205.

Hope to see you there.   –Dr. P

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Inaugural 1st Mondays event – Monday Feb 1!

Our 1st Mondays series begins this Monday Feb 1, 2016 in Purser Hall Rm 205. 1st Mondays is a brand new initiative, designed to enhance academic community in CWU’s public health program. Over the winter and spring quarters, on the first Monday of every month, we’ll be bringing important and exciting speakers to Purser. The catch? It’s early – 8am! The good news? We’ll provide coffee and probably some treats.

For our first event, your public health faculty are happy to welcome Ann Riley, a local community health professional, for an interactive presentation on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES).

If you’re up early and free to join us, please do so! We’ve heard wonderful feedback from others regarding Ann’s ability to engage audiences surrounding this critical public health evidence.

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Thinking about where your public health degree will take you?

The APHA just alerted its email subscribers to this well-written blog post encouraging undergraduate students to consider a career in governmental public health. Read it and get your “hmmm…. maybe!” juices flowing.

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The State of Public Health 2016 – CDC Director Tom Frieden’s annual new year address

Click here to read about public health priorities for our new year, from the national perspective.

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Welcome to Winter Quarter!

Important Information for all majors:

Public Health Club details – Jesse Comerford is the current president. When Jesse lets us know what the club has chosen for meeting times for the winter quarter, I’ll post that information here.

Internship policy survey – If you have not yet done so, please take the internship policy survey here. We value your input.

Commencement and graduation details – Please note that if you have classes or internship credits remaining to complete during summer, you are a summer graduate! This means you will apply for summer graduation (deadline April 8) instead of spring. You MAY participate in June commencement ceremonies. Please visit the registrar’s site for details.

Substitutions and credit requirements for those in between the existing and new curricula – Remember that if you stay in the existing major with the Community Health Education specialization, you MUST meet the required credit total even though certain classes no longer exist. Please see your adviser with questions and to process substitution paperwork once you’ve received a grade for the class you intend to use as a substitute.

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