Category Archives: Campus

Tanya Lewis Lee Talks her experience with Preconception Peer Educator in Ebony

Recently, author and filmmaker, Tanya Lewis Lee sat down with Ebony to discuss upcoming projects and reflect on her work in women’s health. Lee opened up about her experience as an entrepreneur and exposure to health disparities among women of color. She told the magazine that as a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health campaign A Healthy Baby Begins with You, her eyes were opened to the challenges of women’s health.

This experience, Lee says, gave her the desire to advocate for women’s health. Lee, who would later produce Crisis in the Crib: Saving our Nation’s Babies, admitted that she was surprised to learn of the disparities between Black and White women and infant mortality in the United States. Since her time with the campaign, Lee has been outspoken on women’s health issues. During the interview Lee stated, “If our babies aren’t well, our women aren’t well, and if our women aren’t well then that means our communities aren’t well.”

Lee’s experience with A Health Baby Begins with You and subsequent Preconception Peer Educator Program is still influential in her current efforts. Lee’s activities include promoting multivitamin use, encouraging honest discussion on women’s health and providing resources to assist women lead a healthy lifestyle. And she doesn’t only preach it, she practices.

“I want to be working until I’m 95 years old in some way,” Lee said. “I want to be engaged, active, and able to move, feel good, and contribute. I know in order to do that I’ve got to take care of my body. So, for me it’s really about taking care of my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being to carry me through my life, so I can do all the things I want to accomplish.”

Lewis went on to state that she’d be interested in hosting community events where women can discuss barriers to health in an open forum. She is available on Twitter @TLewisLee and her blog features recipes, exercise tips and news on women’s health. The full interview is available online at


Healthy Heart, Healthy Baby

Glendale, AZ- Preconception Peer Educators on the Midwestern University Campus participated in a campus health fair to raise awareness on women’s heart health. The health fair was held on February 5, National Wear Red Day for Women and the theme was”heart health”. PPEs at Midwestern seized the opportunity to promote heart health and it’s role in preconception health for men and women.


Thomas Womack, Midwestern School of Pharmacy – PPE

Midwestern PPEs hosted a Go Red for Women booth titled A Healthy Baby Begins with a Healthy Heart. At the booth they handed out flyers to peers and faculty and discussed the importance of preconception health.


Every Woman Southeast | Preconception Fellowship Program

The Fellowship – which is designed for Juniors and Seniors who serve as peer educators at their university to support their current efforts as peer educators, connects students to mentors and a community of colleagues around the South, and builds their capacity for future leadership in public health – came together for a kick-off meeting in early October in Durham, NC. Source: Every Woman Southeast | Preconception Fellowship Program

Hello, my name is Kiana Thomas and I currently serve as the Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) Preconception Peer Educator president. On Saturday, October 10th, 2015 I had the opportunity to travel to Durham, NC to participate in the Every Woman Southeast Preconception Fellowship opportunity. Continue reading Every Woman Southeast | Preconception Fellowship Program

PEP Squad Activities (Fall 2015)

This fall semester, the East Carolina University PPEs–Preconception Educating Pirates completed over 185 volunteer hours within the community! They also had a huge impact on campus while participating in a number of ECU events. Led by Keyuna Patterson, president and Jenelle Felton, vice president, the PEP Squad provided information on ovarian and cervical cancer; passed out condoms and multivitamins; and used social media to promote healthy behaviors. Special thanks to Dr. Monica Webb, faculty advisor, for sharing the success of the purple and gold: Go Pirates!

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Please scroll down for a detailed look at some of the activities.


During this ECU Campus Wellness event, different organizations and groups had tables set up in the Student Recreational Center. Each table discussed various types of cancer. At PEP Squad’s table, we had a tri-fold that included information about PCOS, ovarian cancer, and cervical cancer. We also gave out teal ribbons to students and discussed what our organization does. Pep Squad had 15 members volunteer their time at this event.

Take the Pledge

Pledge Purple is an initiative that focuses on education and advocacy of issues regarding sexual violence, harassment, and bullying. This is a week-long initiative. Pep Squad participated in Take the Pledge, which was held on The Brickyard. At this event, we discussed our organization and aspects of preconception health. We also gave out condoms and Bedsider products (t-shirts for Thanks Birth Control Day and cozies). In order to receive a t-shirt, students had to follow Pep Squad’s social media accounts and answer a preconception health question. We had 22 members volunteer at Take the Pledge.

Wrap It Up for the Holidays

Wrap It Up for the Holidays was a Pep Squad table event held outside of Dowdy Student Store. At this event, Pep Squad played a Bedsider trivia game called “Lay it On Me” and gave out condoms, multi-vitamins, and candy canes. “Lay it On Me” had trivia questions that focused on various aspects of sexual health. Since the holidays are a prime time for college students to become pregnant, we thought giving students a reminder to practice safe sex before the holiday season started was important. Pep Squad had 12 members volunteer for this event.

Shout out to the other PEP Squad officers: Treasurer: D’Angela Wrisborne, Secretary: Ankita Mishra and Historian Otiyana Dickerson.

PPE at NCCU Participate in Photovoice

This past April, PPEs at North Carolina Central University participated in the Every Woman Southeast “Photovoice” pilot project. PPEs took photos to document on-campus and in-community access to reproductive health and life planning resources and created a visual narrative of their experiences.

Pictured is the Women’s Center on Central’s campus – a place where female students can find support, education, resources, and connections to others. There are several elements of this picture that help represent the safe haven the Women’s Center provides: The house shape of the building makes it feel welcoming; the sign on the building and its central location on campus makes it accessible to students; and the sunlight illuminating the building and the stairs leading upward point the way to this safe space.

Every Woman Southeast asked the PPEs to develop a narrative picturing the “barriers and facilitators to reproductive life-planning within their community”.

Throughout the month, the students captured images that illustrated their community’s growing awareness of women’s health and the involvement of men in family health. At the end of the school year, the group held a reception and invited administrators from the college and staff from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Women’s Health Branch and North Carolina Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities to view the images.

At the conclusion of the project, the NC Central PPEs set a goal for their campus to create safe spaces for students who are mothers to breastfeed and pump.

Every Woman Southeast (EWSE) is a coalition engaged in the community “to give all women a voice, to gain true equity, and to find new ways to achieve women’s wellness and justice”. EWSE’s Photovoice Project is now part of its Preconception Fellowship Program and will illustrate the state of reproductive health across a number of campuses and communities.

The date to apply for the fellowship has passed but if you would like to learn more, contact Suzanne Yergensen |

Intership(s) Announcement

The Kennedy Krieger Institute is offering CDC-funded internships for college students interested in public health. The deadline for applications is January 31,2016. Programs begin on May 30, 2016. You can apply now. Be sure to check the program internship dates as they vary.

Internship 1

Public Health Leadership & Learning Undergraduate Student Success (PLLUSS) Program

Application Deadline: Sunday, January 31, 2016
Program Dates: May 30 – August 12, 2016
Brief Description: The PLLUSS Program is a 10-week public health leadership and research program. The PLLUSS Program is for undergraduate sophomore and junior students minoring or majoring in public health with at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4-point scale. Students must complete sufficient course credit hours during the program for a minor in public health. The PLLUSS program is conducted at three collaborative research sites: (1) Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, (2) University of Cincinnati and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (UC-NIOSH), and (3) California State University-Los Angeles. PLLUSS Program students will participate in public health research, education on health disparities and urban health issues, professional development, and community health promotion activities. Students will be encouraged to produce peer-reviewed publications and attend a national public health meeting. Students will receive mentorship with the goal of successful acceptance and completion of graduate or professional school in the public health area. Following Orientation (May 30, 2016 to June 3, 2016), KKI and UC-NIOSH scholars’ research experience will be June 3, 2016 to August 5, 2016. Scholars placed at California State University-Los Angeles will return home after the orientation until the University of Southern California program starts on June 15, 2016 to August 12, 2016.

A $3,500 stipend is provided to all program participants. Housing and round-trip travel is available for out-of-state participants.

Program Flyer
Phone: (443) 923-5901

Internship #2

Maternal Child Health Careers / Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement-Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP)

Application Deadline: Sunday, January 31, 2016
Program Dates: May 30, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Brief Description: The MCHC/RISE-UP Program is a 10-week summer public health leadership program designed for undergraduates in their junior and senior year and recent baccalaureate degree students (within 12 months of the MCHC/RISE-UP orientation). MCHC/RISE-UP is a national consortium of institutions including the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI), Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, University of Southern California, California State University-LA, and University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine Center for Disabilities. Three tracks are offered: (1) clinical (KKI only), (2) research, and (3) community engagement and advocacy. Following Orientation (May 30, 2016 to June 3, 2016), the scholars at the KKI and University of South Dakota sites will begin their MCHC/RISE-UP experience on June 3, 2016 and end on August 5, 2016. Scholars placed at the University of Southern California will return home after the orientation until the University of Southern California program starts on June 15, 2016 and will end August 12, 2016.

A $3,500 stipend is provided to all program participants. Housing and round-trip travel is available for out-of-state participants.

Program Flyer
Phone: (443) 923-5901

Internship #3

Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program (Ferguson Fellows)

Application Deadline: Sunday, January 31, 2016
Program Dates: May 30, 2016 to July 29, 2016
Brief Description: The Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship is a 9-week summer program for students currently enrolled full-time in a medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, or public health graduate program who are interested in participating in infectious diseases and health disparities research. Ferguson Fellows are encouraged to submit their research to national meetings and for publication.
A $4,000 stipend is provided to all program participants. Housing and round-trip travel is available for out-of-state participants.

Program Flyer
Phone: (443) 923-5901
All program activities are contingent on CDC funding.

Preconception Peer Educators Welcomes Midwestern University

Midwestern University College of Pharmacy-Glendale (MWU) held its first Preconception Peer Educators training on October 3, 2015. Professors Shareen El-Ibiary and Erin Raney, and a team of students, were able to recruit 39 participants to attend the inaugural training.

MWU faculty developed the training and lecture based on the PPE curriculum and materials provided by the Office of Minority Health Resource Center. Attendees were introduced to the program, topics such as health disparities and infant mortality etc. and even participated in planning a public health fair.

Guests from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health joined the training to provide information on local projects to help reduce infant mortality in the South Phoenix area, such as, perinatal case management services and health education events .

Please join us in welcoming Shareen, Erin and the students at Midwestern University College of Pharmacy to the PPE program family. Congratulations!

June is Men’s Health Month: Men’s Health Roundtable

Washington, D.C.–The 3rd Annual Men’s Health Roundtable (MHR) conference was held on June 23rd, bringing some of the nation’s health leaders together to address the current state of men’s health. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Men’s Health Network and several other organizations met at the American Public Health Association (APHA) headquarters to engage in discussion on current research and policy and to highlight best practices for improving preconception care and reproductive life planning among boys and men.

Following opening remarks, guest panelists examined keys to improving men’s health.

Dr. Stuart Moss of the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development began his presentation by advocating a shift in how we view preconception care. Dr. Moss challenged traditional preconception methods—that largely place the burden on the woman—and illustrated how the health of the male has a biological impact on offspring. He cited an epigenetic study in which overweight male mice (who were intentionally fed a high protein diet so they became fat) were bred with healthy female mice. Subsequent DNA tests showed that, even though they were born a healthy weight, the offspring were predisposed to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and showed impairments in insulin regulation.

Dr. Allen Herman, Co-founder, Advocates for Men’s Health stole the show with his presentation based on 100 years of United States infant mortality data. Dr. Herman explained that this data, as well as, data on men’s health and health disparities is so expansive that the challenge is not the collection of information but interpreting it. Using some of this data, he revealed that his research directly links infant mortality to 1. Wealth disparities 2. Social determinants 3. Epigenetics 4. Access to care.

The panel also addressed barriers to achieving equitable men’s health care. These barriers were identified as: nomenclature, provider limitations, location, quality of care and lack of data application. Dr. David Johnson, Public Health Adviser for HHS recommended that policy makers create policies that deliver clinical/evidenced based information on males and train providers to effectively communicate with males in areas of preconception health/care, sexual assessments, substance abuse, mental health and chronic diseases. And providers should determine: How do we ask the right questions to get the useful information/data we need.

Members of the panel lauded PPE as an effective tool to improve men’s health across the nation. PPE will aim to leverage peer-to-peer, young men-to-young boys mentorship to create peer role models for young men and boys. PPE is also working with the panel to increase male involvement in the program.

Follow the Men’s Health Roundtable on Twitter using the hashtage #MensHealthMatters.

What about the Guys?

PPE recognizes that the health of both men and women is paramount to healthy families and the reduction of infant mortality . When we visit campuses and conferences across the country we are often face with the question: What about the guys? Well we hear you and this year during Men’s Health Month, PPE engaged.

As part of our efforts to increase male involvement and men’s health content within the PPE program, we partnered with various men’s health organizations and engaged in men’s outreach events throughout the month.

Earlier this month, PPE participated in the hugely successful #MensHealthChat which trended, reaching millions.

Get the latest here.

Later in the month, PPE partnered with Dr. Jermane Bond and the National Collaborative for Health to facilitate the 3rd Annual Men’s Health Roundtable. We were joined by health leaders in both the government and private sectors to discuss the United States’ progress towards addressing the preconception care and reproductive life planning needs of boys and men. You can follow the live tweets by following #MensHealthMatters

When addressing men’s preconception health it is important to be able to recognize the major health issues faced by men of reproductive age, identify available resources and programs and create strategies to aid men in healthy choices.

For further information, please check out the free webinar below from EveryWoman Southeast:

What about the Guys? Men’s Reproductive Health: Programmatic Strategies and Lessons Learned