About Dr. Mebane
I am a Harvard and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill trained public health communications experts who LOVES arts and entertainment. Put on music of almost any kind, and I am lured into paying attention. I enjoy dancing, live performances and my television shows (and there are lots of them, including reality TV and sci-fi). I also engage in many an adventure via novels and movies…and sports (GO HEELS! GO SPARTANS).
I am also thrilled to serve as Norfolk State University’s (NSU) first Executive Director of Public Health Initiatives. In this role, I work with faculty, staff and student across campus to build a vision and strategy for public health at NSU and its role in the development of a school of public public health initiative with ODU and EVMS. I am also building a team that will help implement all types of programs. It is an exciting time to focus on public health and health equity!
DISCLAIMER: I am confident that through the information in this blog, my team and I can be helpful…and sometimes witty and fun. However, we do not intend for the content of this blog to serve as advice, i.e., we cannot make decisions for you or take responsibility for your decisions. Also, links to other pages or sites that are not part of this blog are not an endorsement of that content, individuals or organizations. While our objective is to link to trustworthy sources, we do not take responsibility for the content or actions of other sites or organizations.
MEDIA OWNERSHIP: Unless noted otherwise, links to or the display of videos, photos, images, live events, etc. does not denote this blog’s ownership in any way. Content creators own their content.
Encore! Featuring Public Health is where I showcase two of my interests and passions: public health and arts and entertainment. I couldn’t find another site dedicated to the way I have been thinking about the wide variety of connections between these two areas, so…ta, da!
My overall goal is to explore arts and entertainment that connect with pubIic health. More specifically, I want visitors to this space (dare I hope, community) to appreciate arts and entertainment even more, learn more about public health (See definitions below.) and be inspired to pursue the best of both. A tall order for sure. And, I think we are up to the task
I hope you join me!
Felicia Mebane, PhD, MSPH
ANATOMY OF AN ENCORE!
Each Encore! post starts with inspiration from arts and entertainment. Contributors (soon to be more than just me) share reactions to what they have seen, heard, felt, i.e., experienced. Perhaps a contributor read a book with a character struggling with a mental illness or watched a move in which a character rides a motorcycle and doesn’t wear a helmet or heard a song that mentions (or not) the use condoms…COVID-19…and wants to write/talk about it.
The public health twist in each post is the encore to the original arts and entertainment experience, another look or an extended view. And, for this site, the encore may also feature what is not included. Perhaps a contributor wants to help people by sharing links to real resources for families struggling with mental Illnesses or information about how many injuries could be avoided by wearing a motorcycle helmet or context via real numbers on condom usage. Posts can also include resources on how you can get involved with the issue or arts / entertainment project. In any case, the encore strives to be interesting, informative an inspiring.
Because I’m a structured kinda gal, I will also us the following to focus content as relevant.
- Top 10 Tuesday – On Tuesdays, I may start with a top 10 public health problem, then find an arts and entertainment-related project or program to which it is connected. I.e., I will flip the script.
- Fill in the Blank Friday – In addition to general topics, Fridays may feature
- Follow Up Friday (related to previous posts)
- Fan Friday
- Fun Friday
- Freaky Friday
- Teachable Tidbits – Most posts will include data or statistics describing the public health issue or problem AND links additional information.
- Take Two Interviews – Stay tuned.
DEFINING PUBLIC HEALTH
PublIc health includes such broad and important concepts that it is difficult to find short or concise definitions that encompass everything. People, including me, get entire degrees in public health fields that are very different, e.g., health management and environmental sciences, so its no wonder that the concept is difficult to define.
For a short version, Encore! features the following public health areas or topics, in addition to the health issues that affect all of us in some way (e.g., diseases, injury or causes of death and illness):
- Health promotion
- Policies including politics)
- Health care
- Equity / Social Justice
- Health disparities
Many organizations involved in public health in some way have some great descriptions of what public health includes. Here are a few to get started:
The World Health Organization starts with:
Public health refers to all organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole. Its activities aim to provide conditions in which people can be healthy and focus on entire populations, not on individual patients or diseases. Thus, public health is concerned with the total system and not only the eradication of a particular disease.
The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health created an entire website dedicated to What is Public Health? The description on their site starts with:
Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. Public health professionals analyze the effect on health of genetics, personal choice and the environment in order to develop programs that protect the health of your family and community.
Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country.
The American Public Health Association defines public health as:
Public Health is Prevention.
Public health is the practice of preventing disease and promoting good health within groups of people, from small communities to entire countries.
Public Health is Policy Development and Population Health
Public health professionals rely on policy and research strategies to understand issues such as infant mortality and chronic disease in particular populations.