Amanda Cruce is a BCHS MPH student in a joint Social Work PhD program whose role models in community and public health are the individuals and families that are impacted by the work. She believes that both community and public health are best implemented when impacted groups are involved in the whole process. Their voice, lives, and health depend on an imperfect system and are the real heroes!
Tell us about your experience at the Allegheny Case Conference this year:
With COVID and two years of being virtual, I was excited to see the information about the Allegheny Case Conference, and I enrolled. Participating in something that uses all my public health, social work, and social skills sounded like something that was just up my alley. Over the three-day conference (Thursday - Saturday) we had a briefing from some of the county's top officials in health and human services, community partners, and health insurance plans. At the end of the briefing, students were provided a topic to "SOLVE." This year's topic was to propose a novel solution that improves health and quality of life for county residents using the social determinants of health. My team worked late into the night, for about 15 hours spread over the two days, to develop our solution to poor indoor air quality. We were able to combine our skills in public health, social work, data analytics, and public policy to create a comprehensive air quality program using civic participation, community engagement, and educational interventions. After two rounds of presentations, our team won 1st place! We met the Director of the Health Department, Director of Health and Human Services, and many community partner CEOs. It was a wonderful experience to be engaged in our community, to connect with professionals who are impacting public health, and work on county-wide issues in a unique way.
I highly encourage people to participate next year!
How do you amuse yourself outside of school?
As a mom of seven, I feel constantly amused outside of school. We spend a lot of time playing board games, in the kitchen, and determining family methods to impact social and racial justice.
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