“Why target medical and health professionals for air pollution education and advocacy? Because the public trusts you,” said MAHA Manager Rachel McIntosh-Kastrinsky, MSPH, during her guest lectures at Lenoir-Rhyne University.
According to a Gallup Poll, nurses, physicians, and other health professionals are seen as the most widely trusted professions by the public. This fact garnered the attention of the public health graduate students during McIntosh-Kastrinsky’s October 23 lecture. MAHA Advisory Board member Kimberly Price, Ph.D., invited McIntosh-Kastrinsky to speak at two of her public health graduate classes: program management and research methods.
“We couldn’t achieve our mission without partnerships, which are key to any public health program,” said McIntosh-Kastrinsky.
During the first class on October 23, McIntosh-Kastrinsky discussed how to manage a public health program using MAHA as an example. The lecture discussed the importance of air quality health education and advocacy and gave an overview of how the program achieves its goals. In particular, MAHA utilizes collaborations with its members across the state, advisory board, external partners and staff to advocate for healthy air policies and improve public health.
“Know your audience,” said McIntosh-Kastrinsky.
This was a common theme in both the October 23 and November 9 lectures. The November class focused on research methods and how to create and present a research poster. McIntosh-Kastrinsky presented the elements of a research poster, how to present it at a conference and how to address questions.
McIntosh-Kastrinsky used past images of her presenting different types of research posters to illustrate the common elements, but for different audiences. Every research poster contains a title, author(s), affiliation(s), introduction, results, discussion, conclusion, and references. While how you present information may change, the core components remain the same.
Unlike a lecture, a research poster presentation should be condensed to about a two to five minutes mini-talk. The audience may ask a breadth of questions depending on how the information relates to them. While lectures typically allow more time to present information they also allow less time for questions from the audience. The poster format allows ample time for questions, discussion, and possible future collaboration. McIntosh-Kastrinsky then presented her poster at the North Carolina Public Health Association Fall Educational Conference to demonstrate the presentation process.
These lectures offered an opportunity for public health graduate studies to learn about an ongoing and successful public health program. Students also learned how a foundation in the public health principles they are learning leads to strong public health programs and research.