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Michael Rudolph, DDS, MPH

Nicolette Richard

Florian Kroll 

The Wits Siyakhana Initiative, School of Geography, Archaeology and
Environmental Studies, Faculty of Science, University of Witwatersrand

Johannesburg, South Africa

Health Disparities in South Africa: Breaking the Cycle Through Ecological Health Promotion

Socioeconomic disparities create conditions that contribute to poor population health. Poor health creates a socio-economic burden of care and undermines society‘s capacity to reduce disparities and develop resilience to converging global crises. This chapter presents some key socio-economic challenges facing South Africa and how these contribute to public health challenges. It emphasizes the role of nutrition and food security and highlights how a trans-disciplinary approach based on ecological health promotion can achieve systemic changes which could lead to improvements in food security and thus public health. The chapter reflects on the authors‘ work with the University of Witwatersrand Siyakhana Initiative for Ecological Health and Food Security as a case study showing the potential of such approaches.

Melissa A Beaver, RN, BSN, MSN

Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University,

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Projects GRANDD Revisited: A Community-Based Service Learning Experience for Nurse Practitioner Students


This project demonstrates the mutually positive relationship between a community organization serving low income, low resource, minority populations with a focus on children with disabilities and their grandparent caretakers, Project GRANDD (Grandparents Raising and Nurturing Dependents with Disabilities), and the Emory University School of Nursing Nurse Practitioner Program in Atlanta, Georgia. Pediatric and geriatric nurse practitioner students were paired to care for nine families headed by grandparents of children with disabilities from Project GRANDD. Each pair of students met with their assigned family three times in the fall semester and three times in the spring semester.
Students performed a windshield survey of each family‘s surrounding community, a safety assessment of each home environment, and created nursing care plans for each grandparent and a specified grandchild. Barriers to healthy living environments and health care access were identified in every family‘s situation. Monthly ―lunch and learn‖ sessions were held for students to share barriers identified, progress made, and to give support. Common barriers were identified among the families, such as lack of transportation, lack of healthy food options, lack of social support, and inadequate access to health care. The families reported enjoying the relationship and benefitting from the learning and goal setting. The benefits to students included learning about barriers to good health in high-risk populations.

Diana L Abarca, BS1, Jacqueline A Towson, PhD, DDD-SLP, Barbara J Ehren, EdD1, CCC-SLP, and Matthew S Taylor, PhD

Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University,

Atlanta, Georgia, US

School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA
College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey, USA

Young Minds, Young Readers: Dialogic Reading with Adolescent Mothers and Their Children

Adolescent mothers are at risk of developing mental health issues, living in poverty, dropping out of high school, and becoming unemployed, which may lead to compromised parenting skills. Adolescent mothers have the potential to use effective practices, such as dialogic reading (DR), when given the appropriate levels of support and education to facilitate their children's language and literacy development. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of teaching DR strategies to adolescent mothers as measured by DR strategy use during shared book reading with their children. The secondary purpose was to determine the impact of adolescent mothers’ implementation of DR strategies on their preschool children’s single-word vocabulary. A single-subject multiple baselines across behaviors research design was implemented with one adolescent mother and her twin boys. Based on visual analysis of the graphical representation of the data, it was determined there was a functional relation between educating an adolescent mother on DR and her implementation of DR strategies during shared book reading with her children, depending on the DR strategy. However,
children’s receptive and expressive scores on the individual book assessments decreased from baseline to intervention. These results provide preliminary evidence that adolescent mothers have the potential to implement new strategies during shared book reading when provided with direct support. Future research should focus on developing an intervention for adolescent mothers and their children that
enhances children’s language and literacy development.

Talia Bernhard, BA, Faith Bygrave, and Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, MPH

College of Arts and Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nell Hodgson School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Children’s Environmental Health Network, Washington, DC, USA

Social Media as a Tool for Breaking the Cycle of Children's Environmental Health Disparities

Social media plays a role in many current public health practices, although the details of online activity among children’s environmental health professionals are unknown, which inspired this project. Twenty-five children’s environmental health (CEH) professionals completed an online survey about their organizations’ use of social media in promoting CEH and in addressing CEH disparities. The
survey examined social media habits, measures of success, challenges, and communication strategies. Based on qualitative feedback, most indicated that social media supports the goal of their organization. Results indicated a range in online activity levels and several difficulties in using social media in professional settings. This project also probed whether or not CEH professionals focus their online efforts on vulnerable populations (minorities, low SES, or those with limited education). A majority of respondents declared they do not focus their online efforts toward any particular population group. The findings of this project illustrate a need for further efforts on how to effectively
utilize social media for public health communication to improve CEH and reduce CEH disparities.

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