Learn How Chamberlain Professors Are Advancing Public Health

luba and karen

Chamberlain University is committed to academic excellence that is driven by our academic leadership and esteemed and accomplished faculty. Many of our faculty continue to expand their educational footprint by conducting studies, holding positions on advisory boards, publishing books or writing journal articles—and by presenting their research.

Recently, two Chamberlain Master of Public Health (MPH) professors presented their research projects at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) Annual Meeting and Expo in Atlanta, GA. This year’s theme was “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health.”

Making Strides in Healthcare across the Globe

Nearly 20 years ago, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Partnership for Peace set out with the goal of uniting with Euro-Atlantic countries to strengthen relationships. As a result of this partnership, the State of North Carolina (NC) and the Republic of Moldova Collaborative was founded.

The goal? North Carolinian and Moldovan nurses would combine efforts to expand the nursing practice and improve patient outcomes in the small, eastern European country of Moldova.

One nurse, Chamberlain Professor Luba Ivanov, PhD, RN, played a unique role in this collaborative effort. With the ability to speak Russian, a main language used in Moldova, Dr. Ivanov was able to work with the Moldovan Ministry of Health to assess the current  Nursing degree program of the National  Colleges in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau. Using two North Carolina University programs as a model, Dr. Ivanov worked with an extensive team of North Carolina and Moldovan health professionals to revise the curriculum of this college, especially community health content which was missing. She also worked with public health faculty in Moldova to improve public health student experiences in the community.

“What this brought to light is that we can have true cultural collaboration in different healthcare systems,” said Dr. Ivanov. “We were able to make a significant difference in the healthcare in Moldova including appointing a nurse leader to the Moldova Ministry of Health, which had never been done before, and creating safer practices for nurses such as use of personal protective equipment with chemotherapy administration.”

Utilizing Social Channels to Create Awareness for HPV

Since 2006, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been available for young adults but it has been largely underutilized, says MPH professor and Chamberlain Doctor of Nursing Practice graduate Karen Peak, DNP, MPH, RN. She discovered a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that stated only 63% of females and 50% of males received the HPV vaccine, which were low numbers compared to the school-required Tdap (tetanus) vaccine that has an 86% use rate. 

Under Dr. Peak’s direction, an eight-week social media campaign was created to increase awareness of the harmful effects of HPV (e.g., cervical cancer) with a goal  to increase the number of vaccines administered to children ages 9 to 17 at her practicum site – a small, local public health department in Missouri. Through a combination of Facebook, Twitter and the practicum site’s website, Dr. Peak distributed messaging intended to target parents of children within the children’s targeted age range.

By the end of the campaign, the practicum site saw a 150% increase in the number of HPV vaccines administered in the targeted population—far more than Dr. Peak’s goal of increasing the number by 50%.

“Education is the key to prevention and through the use of innovative social media measures such as Facebook, Twitter and organizational websites, we have great potential to increase the quality of life for our entire community and decrease the portion of healthcare cost that is related to HPV cancers and treatment,” said Dr. Peak.

Want to learn more about how you can make an impact on public health? Check out Chamberlain’s Master of Public Health program here.

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