Yoga classes. Granola-making. Scrapbooking. It might make you think of a childhood summer camp. But take a look around Camp Discovery and you’ll see that things are different. Each of the participants is an adult woman—and each is here because she is recovering from or living with cancer.
Occupational Therapy News
Kristin Berg, an assistant professor of occupational therapy, remembers the moment well. Early in her career she worked as a mentor for children and teenagers with disabilities, but some of them seemed disengaged no matter what she tried. Was something on their minds? It wasn’t until one teen opened up about being abused—and others began sharing similar experiences—that Berg understood. “I realized that many of these youth had never been asked about abuse,” she says. “I thought I had all the answers, but it turns out I was asking the wrong questions.”
Temple University is building a new Student Health and Wellness Center—an academic, athletics and recreation facility that will provide enhanced space for students in the College of Public Health to hone their clinical skills along with space for students to play recreational sports and weight train.
True, it takes two to tango—but beyond that, there’s no limit to who can dance. Therapeutic recreation students at Temple are learning that first-hand during weekly trips to Widener Memorial School in North Philadelphia, where they partner with high school students who use wheelchairs for semester-long dance classes. For the high school students, wheelchair dancing is a way to practice movement, social skills and self-expression. And for Temple students, it’s a unique chance to experience therapeutic recreation in action.
On May 6, faculty, students and supporters of the College of Public Health marked the college’s 49th graduation ceremony in the packed Liacouras Center. College Dean Laura Siminoff said in her opening remarks that the 1388 graduating students represent the best of Temple University. “It should make us all extremely proud that our students are focused on professions that represent the highest ideals of service to others,” she said.
For Estelle Richman, health policy is personal. Throughout her career she has earned a reputation as someone who advocates for individual well-being and dignity—as Philadelphia’s Commissioner of Public Health and Managing Director, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Public Welfare, and Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The College of Public Health is excited to welcome Richman as its 2016 commencement speaker, and we spoke with her about her beginnings, her career, and the issues she sees as most vital to the future of public health.
It’s easy to take for granted: the sheer number of things we can do thanks to our ability to speak, read, and write. Think about talking to a loved one, reading a best-seller, or writing a letter to an old friend. Now imagine losing those capacities suddenly and without warning. That condition is known as aphasia, and it can upend someone’s life. But an interdisciplinary collaborative at the College of Public Health (CPH) called the Philadelphia Aphasia Community at Temple (PACT) is empowering individuals with aphasia to come together, talk about their condition, and help each other move forward.
Individuals with disabilities face extra challenges large and small throughout their lives. But these individuals are better equipped to tackle those challenges—and more likely to win—when our society emphasizes inclusive infrastructure, policies and attitudes. That’s according to Mark Salzer, chair of the Rehabilitation Sciences Department. He was invited to speak at a recent training in Jerusalem, discussing community inclusion with government officials and disability service providers from across Israel.
Stacks of books on parenting and child development sit on parental nightstands around the world, countless websites offer advice on all things child rearing, but there are few resources out there for parents with mental illnesses, such as chronic depression or bipolar disorder. Now a new online tool developed by the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities and funded by aims to give valuable assistance to these parents.
As the 2015 APHA Annual Meeting gets underway in Chicago, two dozen faculty members from the College of Public Health and Temple University are getting ready to present on the latest public health research. Below is a list of those presentations. (On Monday, 11/2, CPH is also hosting a free cocktail reception.)
Sunday, November 1, 2015