Conferences - Another Opportunity to Learn

Christina R. Hanna, MPH
Population Health Service Fellow
AIDS/HIV Program, Division of Public Health
Madison, Wisconsin

One of the many benefits of being a UW Population Health Service Fellow is the ability and support that we receive to attend various conferences throughout our two years as a Fellow.

In the first 16 months of the Fellowship, I have had the opportunity to attend seven conferences, each one teaching me something new about public health and about myself. As an early career public health professional, I have approached conference attendance with three main goals:

·       To network with other professionals, locally and nationally

·       To learn more about public health and find the topics, people, programs, public health models and tools that are most interesting to me

·       To learn more about others’ work and how I can make my mark on the public health landscape, i.e., trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up

Other Fellows shared that they attend conferences to:

·       Receive training and learn from seasoned public health professionals who are doing work that we would like to do one day  

·       Learn about public health from different perspectives including local, state, national, business, non-profit, and academic

·       Learn new skills and tools to use in our work

·       Meet other professionals who share our same interests and passions

·       Get out of the office and immerse ourselves back into a learning environment

·       Network and meet people who are doing really interesting work and discover opportunities for future projects and collaboration.

·       Practice “elevator speeches” about the work we are doing

·       Have the opportunity to showcase the great work we are doing

Fellows also receive support to submit abstracts to conferences for poster and oral presentations. A number of Fellows have had abstracts approved and have presented oral and poster presentations at local and national conferences. Later this week, November 2-6, 2nd year Fellow Carly Hood will be attending the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) AnnualConference in Boston and giving an oral presentation on her work titled: “Increasing capacity to promote health equity: Using evaluation toinform a professional development curriculum”.  

Fellows have attended a wide variety of conferences that help us learn more about public health, as well as other interests. Some of these conferences have included:


·       Placemaking Conference