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KNOXVILLE — One of the nation’s top authorities in public health will kick off National Public Health Week (NPHW) on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus on April 1.

Ron Bialek, executive director and president of the Public Health Foundation (PHF), a national nonprofit organization, will speak about improving public health at 5 p.m. in room 235, Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building, 1914 Andy Holt Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

Paul Erwin, professor and director of UT Knoxville’s Center for Public Health, and June Gorski, professor of public health and health education, worked to bring Bialek to campus.

Bialek has nearly 30 years of experience in public health practice and academia.

Bialek has directed efforts that help to train more than 10,000 public health professionals annually through distance education. He currently is developing a distance learning course on community health assessment training for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also serves on a variety of government advisory groups.

Before joining PHF, Bialek was on the faculty of The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and served as director of the Johns Hopkins Health Program Alliance. Bialek developed a reputation for efforts to link academic institutions and public health agencies.

Bialek received his Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Public Policy from The Johns Hopkins University.

Held since 1995, NPHW is the first full week of April each year. Communities across the country have celebrated NPHW to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the public’s health. This year’s theme is “A Healthier America: One Community at a Time.”

The American Public Health Association (APHA) serves as the organizer of NPHW and develops a national campaign to educate the public, policymakers and practitioners about issues related to that year’s theme. APHA creates comprehensive planning, organizing and outreach materials that can be used during and after the week to raise awareness.

Visitor parking is available at the University Center parking garage at normal rates. Metered parking spots are along Pat Head Summitt and Volunteer boulevards.

For more information about NPHW, visit http://www.nphw.org.

Bialek’s visit is funded by the UT Knoxville Center for Public Health. Established in 2005, the center’s mission is to help improve the health of Tennesseans through research and teaching. The center works to accomplish that goal by coordinating academic units on campus that research public health initiatives and programs that train public health professionals. For more information about the center, visit http://cph.utk.edu/.

C O N T A C T :

Kristi Hintz (865-974-3993, khintz@utk.edu)