Those who need help the most are often the least visible: Men and women
struggling with the demons of untreated mental illness or addiction. Those
first made poor, then homeless, by the loss of a job or a health crisis.
Individuals and families newly arrived in a land of safety and promise
who are without language skills or the families that had been their social
network and safety net. Migrant workers for whom home is the road.
Illness, injury, or pain bring some of the
most vulnerable to Emory's doorstep. Emory's schools of medicine,
nursing, and public health go out and find people in need—and teach
their students to help them as well.
Serving—and learning from—the
average life expectancy in Atlanta is 78. For the homeless, it is 42.
That disparity makes the homeless a natural focus for the nursing school's
mission of social responsibility. The school is a partner in Atlanta's
new Gateway Center, established by the Regional Commission on Homelessness.
Nursing faculty and students provide much-needed health services, including
a self-help education program. "The ever-shifting situation of homelessness
presented a challenge," says faculty member Monica Donohue. "The
students were able to create a street-workable program only after they
turned to the clients themselves to see how they could fit hygiene, nutrition,
and exercise into their lives on the streets and in shelters."
In parts of Oklahoma, mountains of waste from old lead and zinc mines
make tempting playgrounds for children. For the past 10 years, public
health faculty member Michelle Kegler has worked with nine Indian tribes
to evaluate the effects of intervention programs to teach protective behaviors.
The analysis of data now under way will help improve and fine-tune future
In addition, she and another public health
faculty member, Karen Glanz, are conducting another study closer to home
in rural Georgia, to see how home, neighborhood, work site, and church
affect risky health behaviors such as smoking, unhealthy diet, sedentary
lifestyle, and obesity. These and other projects, done in collaboration
with partners at the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition, are helping them
understand the social and environmental context in rural communities to
help people make healthy choices.
young women the power and the tools to fight AIDS
By age 25, one of every two sexually active young people will acquire
a sexually transmitted disease. African American teenagers are especially
vulnerable, making interventions tailored to culture, gender, and age
a priority. Interventions designed by public health faculty Ralph DiClemente
and Gina Wingood are powerful tools in reducing risky behaviors. The CDC
gave their SiHLE intervention program the highest-ever rating of any HIV
prevention intervention for adolescents in this country. SiHLE is a Zulu
word meaning beauty and standing for Sistas Informing, Healing, Living,
and Empowering. "We can't work fast enough to disseminate
SiHLE to groups eager to lower risk in their own communities," says