I've been on a bit of a hiatus from the blogging world...just took some time off unintentionally to enjoy some true "downtime", which I don't get the opportunity to do very often. I finished my rotation at HOPE Clinic in Houston and cannot say enough about this incredible clinic! They are completely devoted to improving the health of un- and underinsured populations in Houston...kudos to Dr. Andrews and his incredible staff for providing me with an invaluable educational experience. I even picked up a few words in Vietnamese, Kurdish and Arabic (well, not really, but I could have if I had tried)!
Monday, I started a rotation at the Galveston County Health District and have begun learning about public health practices on a local level. So far, I know who to contact in case of any kind of emergency...you wouldn't believe the planning that goes in to preparing for natural and man-made disasters! It's insane! I attended a Childhood Lead Task Force Meeting today which, in conjunction with numerous county organizations, has sought to decrease the impact of lead intoxication on Galveston County children. The island has done a TREMENDOUS job of decreasing blood lead levels among island children thanks to 20 years of evidence-based interventions (proven through evidence). Lead is generally found in paint chips of old houses, of which Galveston Island has its fair share! Young children living in these houses just LOVE to put the paint chips and cheaply made toys from Asia who have not banned the use of lead in these products in their mouth which can result in significantly reduced IQs later on. No bueno! So, the Lead Task Force was created to combat this problem and they are doing an excellent job thus far! But of course, they still have approximately 20 cases of elevated blood lead levels among children at this time and are working to prevent any further cases. Hurricane Ike definitely didn't help the situation by uplifting soot and debris and replanting it in local yards and play areas (although a recent survey of Galveston island parks shows NO lead in any parks thus far...great news!).
This rotation also provides me with ample time to study for Boards (coming up in August and October) and blog. So expect to hear more from me over the next few weeks. I'll be doing a rotation in Laredo, TX next month focusing on Environmental Health and Border Medicine.
Hope all is well with everyone and that you had a restful and meaningful holiday season! I know I did despite it's quick passing!
Ciao for now,
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