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Magazine Summer 2021

UCLA Public Health Magazine

Summer 2021

Dean's Message

As the fog begins to lift on the most deadly pandemic in more than a century, we in public health are left to confront the reality that at home and abroad, communities face unprecedented challenges to their health and well-being — challenges that transcend a pandemic that has taken millions of lives while inflicting devastating physical and mental health impacts.
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Articles

Long overlooked and underfunded, public health moved into the spotlight last year, as COVID-19 demanded expertise and solutions while underscoring the importance of investing in infrastructure to prepare for future outbreaks. But while COVID-19 captured much of the focus, other problems festered.
Since early in the pandemic, the student-driven Multilingual COVID Information Project has used social media to spread clear and compelling messages to limited-English-speaking communities in Southern California.
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FSPH’s Dr. Randall Kuhn is part of a research team using a first-of-its-kind platform to learn more about the COVID-19 experience of Los Angeles’ growing homeless population.
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In a series of studies, two UCLA Fielding School faculty members reveal that the ‘reward’ for a strong work ethic has been the highest death rates during the pandemic.
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After finding their expertise in demand, two FSPH alumni launched the popular Dear Pandemic website and social media resource, where a team of scientists who call themselves “Those Nerdy Girls” dispense practical, evidence-based responses to inquiries on all aspects of life during COVID-19.
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A new FSPH center will partner with community groups and policymakers to develop and implement evidence-based strategies that advance the physical and mental health of sexual and gender minorities.
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Through her research, FSPH doctoral candidate Anna Hing is showing why the field must combat anti-democratic efforts that disproportionately affect communities of color.
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With her appointment to the newly created Fielding Presidential Chair in Health Equity, Dr. Lara Cushing will illuminate the evidence for and health consequences of social and racial inequalities in harmful environmental exposures.
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At the end of a career dedicated to expanding access to healthcare, Dr. Gerald Kominski has established a scholarship to provide first-generation college graduates with the same financial support that paved the way for his work.
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Though the epidemic of firearm deaths in the U.S. has long been viewed through a criminal justice lens, two UCLA Fielding School professors who are studying the issue say it must be tackled through prevention strategies.
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FSPH’s online MHA degree program meets a growing need in a rapidly changing landscape.
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The UCLA Fielding School’s PH 200 course, which started in 2019, introduces first-year MPH students to the fundamentals of public health through a case-based approach that addresses real-world topics through the lens of the school’s five departments.
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Though his loss is deeply felt by the UCLA Fielding School community, the FSPH professor and tireless champion for health equity left an enduring legacy.
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An FSPH doctoral student recounts the many ways — both personal and professional — the late Dr. Steve Wallace set her on the path to success.
Anna Bratcher (leaning down, wearing purple), Housing for Health staff member Nicolas Leachman and colleagues provide vaccine education along with food, water, and clean needles to people experiencing homelessness, leading up to a pop-up vaccine clinic event in Reseda, California.
As the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic became clear, two FSPH doctoral students felt compelled to contribute to the public health response. The students describe how their UCLA Fielding School education equipped them to make a difference, and what they learned from their experiences.

School Work

A look at some of the news happening at the Fielding School.
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The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health is pleased to honor the donors whose generosity strengthens our school and keeps us at the forefront of public health education, research and service. This Honor Roll gratefully acknowledges gifts and grants of $1,000 and above made to the school from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Contributions in any amount are of great importance to the school and are deeply appreciated. We are also grateful to those who give of their time and talents to enhance the educational experiences of our students.
Transformative Investments
Through its partnership with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and other university programs, the Karen Toffler Charitable Trust is among the few philanthropic organizations focused on supporting innovative student research with the potential for high impact.
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