Two MPH students win Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center stipends

Anna Ojczyk and Courtney Brackin, students in the UND Master of Public Health (MPH) Program, have been awarded research stipends from the Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center (RMPHTC). The second-year students will receive a stipend of $1,500 that supports field placements and collaborative learning projects. Ojczyk and Brackin are among 20 students from several colleges in the region selected for project proposals that address rural, medically underserved, and/or disadvantaged communities.

For her project, Ojczyk will be working at the Nelson-Griggs District Health Unit in McVille, N.D., on the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant, among other tasks. This grant will create resource lists for area residents; help make naloxone more readily available through training of law enforcement, educators, and library board and other community members; and provide free naloxone kits. The project will also help coordinate Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, an educational program that provides training and resources for local communities to conduct one-day agriculture safety and health programs for area youth.

Brackin will be the North Dakota Cancer Coalition Coordinator. This position will allow her to take classroom materials and apply them to a practical setting by assisting the coalition in their efforts to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer in North Dakota through coalition management, data sharing, data management, and other coalition activities.

The RMPHTC is one of 10 regional Public Health Training Centers funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the regional PHTC Program is to improve the nation’s health system by strengthening the technical, scientific, and managerial and leadership competencies of the public health workforce. The RMPHTC serves the six states of Health and Human Services Region VIII: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

The four legislative requirements of the PHTCs are to: 1) establish or strengthen field placements for students; 2) facilitate faculty and student collaborative projects; 3) designate a geographic area to be served; and 4) assess health personnel needs of the area to be served and develop training to meet such needs.

For more information on the students or the RMPHTC, contact Ashley Evenson, MPH, program manager of the UND Master of Public Health Program at 701.777.6079 or ashley.n.evenson@UND.edu.