Turn On the Public Health

Palms and ParaguayMy latest quandary (excluding all the integration and assimilation challenges I face) is not whether I will have work but rather where to begin. The community clinic and school where I plan to start my work seem open to have me do everything I can do to share information about health. What’s more, my school expressed commitment to teaching life skills and sexual health, my dream topics, along with all the other PC community health focus areas (plus some, like drug prevention).

I can see the need for public health education—from five-year olds with rotting front teeth to pregnant teens. It’s exciting to transition from creating health education materials in an office far removed from those I was trying to help to working with my target audiences directly. It’s a wonderful puzzle trying to find resources and find methods to convey information in a way that each audience will find useful.

It’s not going to be easy. I still don’t know how to say everything I want to say in Spanish (or Guarani). I don’t yet have allies in the community I know will help me or know if anyone will show up to whatever activities I do plan. I’m not sure I know enough about all the topics about which I’m supposed to teach.

I’m excited all the same. I have two years to give it my best shot. I hope by the end I’ve given at least a couple of people information they can use to improve their health and that of their loved ones.

I see a lot health presentations, lectures, games, and activities in my future. Don’t worry; I’ll let you know what works for me and what doesn’t.