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public health

John Owens Jr. has been doing contact tracing for 20 years. Usually, his work focuses on sexually transmitted infections -- each year, there are thousands of cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia, hundreds of syphilis cases and dozens of HIV diagnoses in Monroe County.

In the last few months, however, his focus -- and his job description -- have changed. Owens, 46, is now the county’s COVID-19 contact tracing lead.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

“We’ve been inundated,” Kristen Wagner said as she unpacked vaccines inside the Yates County public health offices in Penn Yan.

“We’re trying the best that we can,” she said, continuing to set cartons of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine on top of a tray that was already too full to fit any more.

Wagner and her colleague Chelsea Bailey were just back from a trip to Mennonite homes scattered across the largely rural county.

Connections: Healthy Friday - Public Health Week

Apr 17, 2015

We take a trip to the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions for their recognition of National Public Health Week. The field takes a wider view of the health a population.

We’ll learn more about public health and some of the success stories, including reducing tobacco use throughout the United States, and chat about person centered care as movement in medicine and what it looks like in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Then we have a conversation with the primary clinician at the Western New York Center for Survivors of Refugee Trauma and Torture as she reveals how she approaches forensic interviews with people seeking asylum in Buffalo and Rochester.

Our guests this hour:

  • Dr. Jo Freudenhiem, UB distinguished professor and interim chair, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
  • Dr. Davina Porock, associate dean for research and scholarship, UB School of Nursing
  • Dr. Kim Griswold, primary clinician at the Western New York Center for Survivors of Refugee Trauma and Torture
  • Dr. Mark Travers, researcher at Roswell Park Cancer Center