Dr. Romuladus ‘Romey’ Emeka Azuine is the founder and Executive Director of the Global Health and Education Projects, an international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Riverdale, Maryland, USA. Romey can be reached at email@example.com
Over two decades ago, I spent a substantial part of my early life in my little village in southeast Nigeria greening my father’s compound. Fueled with passion for plants and the environment and no formal training in horticulture, agriculture, or botany, I turned our compound into a miniature botanical garden that was the talk of the town at that time. I had over 100 species of plants. Tropical, temperate, annuals, perennials, you name it, I had it. It was a blast and the most fascinating period of my life.
Fast forward two decades later I am pleasantly surprised to see how my passion for plants and the environment has come full circle several miles away from my village. In the global capital of Washington, DC, I am a leading a community-based revolution for the environment. The Family Tree Adoption Program (FTAP) that I conceptualized a few years ago has become the foundation for a County-wide program in my Prince George’s County, Maryland.
FTAP is a grassroots program that provides free native trees and shrubs to private homeowners in Prince George’s (PG) County, Maryland. FTAP is greening communities by increasing tree canopy, which, in turn, improves air and water quality, community aesthetics, and provides benefits for years to come.
I believe that the best employees are those who exhibit the greatest passion for what they do. In the absence of passion, knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) pale. It is easy to grow the KSA but it is difficult to sow or even grow passion, because you come to the table with passion. The absence of this burning fire of passion is what you see in doctors, lawyers, or other top professionals who make so much money but you can tell when you see them that they are not happy. Sounds familiar?
So, when next you see me, ask me about free trees! FTAP is truly the fruit of passion that led to innovation. Rather than pursuing your KSA, I recommend that you pursue your passion. So, what is your passion? Do you know?
The Maryland Environmental Health Network (MdEHN) seeks to fill the position of Director in early 2017.
MdEHN was formed 5 years ago through the support and vision of key funders, with guidance from a Steering Committee of issue experts, and under the leadership of Rebecca Ruggles. MdEHN functions under the auspices of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers which serves as its fiscal agent.
MdEHN has three full-time staff: Rebecca Ruggles, Director; Allison Rich, Children’s Environmental Health Specialist, and Rebecca Rehr, Public Health Advocacy Coordinator.
Rebecca Ruggles will leave her role as founding director at the end of 2016 or in early 2017. The Director position is responsible for strategic planning, project oversight, partner and funder relations, grant-writing, and staff coordination.
We seek candidates who are able to support our strong staff and enable their work to continue, as guided by our strategic plan, vision, mission, and values. The new director will be a professional with knowledge of public health, advocacy, environmental health, and/or non-profit management. Passion for issues of environmental justice and equity in Maryland is central to our organization. The next director will also take MdEHN in new directions, forging new partnerships, and competing successfully for new funding streams.
The position can be structured to accommodate schedule preferences, including the possibility of working on a part-time basis and with flexibility for the work to be performed both on-site and remotely.
Applicants should send a confidential letter of inquiry to the email address below discussing the following:
- Your background or training in public health, environmental health, or related fields
- Your knowledge of the Maryland landscape (or a similar state)
- Your philosophy of leadership and team management
- Specific skills, contacts, or relevant knowledge that you can offer – particularly in
- Strategic Planning for small non-profits
- Funder Relations and Grant Writing
- Why you would like to join MdEHN
Rebecca Ruggles is available to talk by phone or email to discuss this opportunity informally.
The International Journal of MCH and AIDS (IJMA), one of the two scholarly journals published by GHEP, has been accepted for indexing in PubMed and PubMed Central, two prestigious journal indexing and abstracting services and databases of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
This means that the full text of all articles published in IJMA will become available on PMC and PubMed effective immediately. For authors this means greater discoverability, potentially increased readership and citations in the field of research.
With its acceptance, IJMA joins the league of other prestigious global health journals who use the PubMed and PMC platforms to disseminate their work to millions of readers around the world who rely on the integrity of NLM and NIH who curate these indexing services following intense scrutiny and pre-acceptance technical and academic reviews.
Dr. Romuladus Azuine, IJMA Editor-in-Chief, said that he was excited about the tremendous visibility that the PubMed and PMC indexing would bestow upon the journal, adding that he looks forward to pushing forward in his efforts to distinguish the journal and its acceptability to the wider research community.
“Our indexing in these two services also sets the stage for the next phase of the journal’s development in the dissemination of pioneering work in the field of MCH and AIDS, as well as global health,” Dr. Azuine said while reacting to the news in Washington, DC, USA.
GHEP’s second scholarly journal, the International Journal of Translational Medical Research and Public Health (IJTMRPH) is currently reviewing manuscripts for its first volume set to publish in mid-to late Fall 2016. Readers can read more about the journals by clicking on IJMA and on IJTMRPH.
PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM)sections are noted with plus and minus signs so that you can add and subtract content blocks.
In keeping with NLM’s legislative mandate to collect and preserve the biomedical literature, PMC serves as a digital counterpart to NLM’s extensive print journal collection. Launched in February 2000, PMC was developed and is managed by NLM’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Readers can learn more by clicking on the PMC link.
PubMed comprises more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites sections are noted with plus and minus signs so that you can add and subtract content blocks.
PubMed also provides access to additional relevant web sites and links to the other NCBI molecular biology resources. PubMed is a free resource that is developed and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Readers can learn more by clicking on PubMed link.
Nearly 300 people from different parts of the Washington, DC metro region received direct services and other life-saving public health information at the 2016 Community Health and Environment Fair held Saturday, May 14 at the Riverdale Elementary School in Prince George’s County, MD.
The health fair was organized by the non-profit Global Health and Education Projects, Inc. (GHEP), in collaboration with a coalition of 34 notable government and non-governmental organizations and health care and social services professionals drawn from Maryland, DC, and Virginia, including Georgetown University Hospital, Howard University Hospital, Doctor’s Community Hospital, and several agencies of the State of Maryland and Prince George’s County. The health fair comprised of a general workshop session, care delivery, and health information and awareness exhibitions by participating agencies.
GHEP Executive Director, Romuladus E. Azuine, DrPH, MPH, RN, said that the theme of the health fair and workshops was: “Health and Environment: Connections for Healthy Lives, Healthy Communities” was important in highlighting the intricate connection between human health and the environment which is the foundation for improving individual and community health and wellness.
“We do not have to wait for diseases and calamities such as the Zika Virus to jolt us into understanding the importance of health and environmental education and information empowerment for our people and communities. That is why we are holding this health fair today which has brought for-profit and non-profit partners together for a common cause,” Dr. Azuine said.
According to Dr. Azuine, “once we understand the triangle of health, environment and diseases, we will fully understand that the health of each and every one of us is related to each other and that we must build our health together as healthy people and healthy communities.”
In his welcome remarks, the Deputy Mayor of the City of Riverdale Park, Dr. Alan Thompson, praised GHEP for its commitment to the community and for bringing enormous resources to the city which will lead to improvement in not only health of the individuals, but also health of the city.
Special Guest at the event and Council Member Deni Taveras representing District 2 at Prince George’s County Council decried the lack of mental health professionals serving minorities who are at higher risk of suffering mental health problems. She said that it was time for individuals and communities to come together and shatter the stereotypes and break stigma around mental health treatment and help-seeking for mental health in our minority communities.
Community leaders at the event include MD State Delegate Alonzo T. Washington representing District 22, PG County; Mr. Martin Ezemma, Director of International Business at PG County Economic Development Corporation; Mr. James Morrow of the PG County Community Emergency Response Team; Dr. Clifford Thomas, a community activist; Lt. CDR Lawrence Momodu of the US Public Health Service; Earl Harley, MD, FAAP from Georgetown University Hospital and Millicent Collins, MD, FAAP, a Pediatrician from the Howard University Hospital..
Attendees at the health fair received several health care services including screening for high blood pressure, blood sugar, eye examination, ear, nose, and throat examinations, well-child visits, immunization information, and several health promotion information and sources of resources for health and social services.
Guest Speaker and Lead Workshop presenter, Lt. CDR Dr. Lawrence Momodu underscored the importance of physical and mental health prevention for individuals and the entire family. Dr. Momodu who is a Pharmacist and Nurse called on the community to get above board and learn to protect themselves from preventable health diseases.
The highpoint of the event was an outdoor physical activity, anti-bullying, and violence prevention workshop and demonstration facilitated by Dr. Clifford Thomas of the We Lead By Example, Inc./Tae Kwon Do Ramblers Self-Defense Systems based in Bladensburg, MD. Dr. Thomas led the children and members of the community in outdoor exercise that highlighted both physical activity, physical fitness and development of anti-bullying strategies for the entire family.
Editor’s Note: The President of the United States has issued a presidential proclamation to commemorate this year’s Child Health Day celebration. In the proclamation, the President called for a re-commitment to helping our children make healthy life choices and to providing them with the resources to lead happy and productive lives. This message is not only for Americans, but for all the world’s people to put children at the center of global health policies and programs. Read on…
A PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION
As a Nation, we have a commitment to ensuring our daughters and sons live better lives than we did. They deserve every chance to reach for the brightest futures they can imagine, and with a solid foundation and a clean environment, they can grow up strong, healthy, and prepared to write the next great chapters in the American story. On Child Health Day, we recommit to helping our children make healthy life choices and to providing them with the resources to lead happy and productive lives.
My Administration remains wholly committed to investing in the safety and well-being of our Nation’s kids. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative is bringing together community-based, faith-based, and private sector organizations, along with government at all levels, to provide quality, nutritious food to students, empower parents to make healthy choices, and encourage our youth to become more physically active. We are working at every level to combat bullying so students across our country can live and learn free from fear or intimidation. Under the Affordable Care Act, young people can now stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 a provision that has already helped millions of young Americans. And the law prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, which has already brought greater peace of mind to the parents of up to 17 million children.
Keeping our children healthy takes more than promoting good lifestyles today it also rests on leaving them with a stable world to live in tomorrow. That is why my Administration is taking on the critical work of safeguarding our planet from the devastating effects of a changing climate by forging an America with cleaner air, cleaner water, and cleaner energy.
We have taken ambitious steps to limit our Nation’s carbon emissions, wean ourselves off of foreign energy sources, and preserve our planet for generations to come. With the potential for greater incidence of asthma attacks and infectious diseases that can impact growth and learning during critical formative years, we owe it to all who come after us to confront this imminent threat. We are also continuing to encourage Federal agencies to collaborate toward achieving these goals by identifying priority risks to the well-being of our young people and developing strategies to combat them.
Our most profound obligation is to our Nation’s most vulnerable citizens: our children. As we mark Child Health Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to that responsibility by supporting and modeling healthy, active lifestyles, by equipping our youth with the tools and resources they need to seize every opportunity, and by working to leave behind a sustainable planet so our children and theirs can know a future worthy of their limitless potential.
The Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 18, 1928, as amended (36 U.S.C. 105), has called for the designation of the first Monday in October as Child Health Day and has requested that the President issue a proclamation in observance of this day.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Monday, October 5, 2015, as Child Health Day. I call upon families, educators, health professionals, faith-based and community organizations, and all levels of government to help ensure America’s children are healthy.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
Culled from The White House.
Editor’s Note: The United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda was held from 25 to 27 September 2015, in New York, USA, and convened as a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly. At the end of the summit, member nations adopted a 17-item goals UN Sustainable Goal and declared their message entitled, “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” Below are the 17 SDGs. In the coming weeks and months, we will begin a series of blog posts exploring each of these SDG items. Please watch this space. And happy reading.
Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
In adopting the goals, Heads of States and Governments stated interalia: “We recognise that there are different approaches, visions, models and tools available to each country, in accordance with its national circumstances and priorities, to achieve sustainable development; and we reaffirm that planet Earth and its ecosystems are our common home and that ‘Mother Earth’ is a common expression in a number of countries and regions.”
Click here to read more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Culled from the United Nations
Editor’s Note: In a historical and widely-received encyclical, Pope Francis calls on a global preservation of the environment calling it our home that we ought not destroy. The contents of this encyclical transcend religion, ideology, and cultures and is worth sharing. In this encyclical, the Pontiff calls attention to three key programmatic linchpins of the Global Health and Education Projects, namely–education, environment, and health. We are humbled by this message will over the coming months share excerpts of the encyclical as it relates to our work in various communities in United States and around the world. We wish you a happy reading and look forward to reading your comments and feedback.
Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ by the Holy Father Pope Francis on Care of Our Common Home
“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.
“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share.
“Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.
“I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges. Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest. Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity.
“As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated: “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation”. All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.
“It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter, which is now added to the body of the Church’s social teaching, can help us to acknowledge the appeal, immensity and urgency of the challenge we face. I will begin by briefly reviewing several aspects of the present ecological crisis, with the aim of drawing on the results of the best scientific research available today, letting them touch us deeply and provide a concrete foundation for the ethical and spiritual itinerary that follows. I will then consider some principles drawn from the Judaeo-Christian tradition which can render our commitment to the environment more coherent. I will then attempt to get to the roots of the present situation, so as to consider not only its symptoms but also its deepest causes. This will help to provide an approach to ecology which respects our unique place as human beings in this world and our relationship to our surroundings. In light of this reflection, I will advance some broader proposals for dialogue and action which would involve each of us as individuals, and also affect international policy.
“Finally, convinced as I am that change is impossible without motivation and a process of education, I will offer some inspired guidelines for human development to be found in the treasure of Christian spiritual experience.”
Courtesy of the Holy See.
International Education Week (IEW) is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of efforts by government and international organization to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.
This year, the dates for IEW 2015 are November 16-20, 2015.
Information form the website of the US Department of State said that the department encourages the participation of all individuals and institutions interested in international education and exchange activities, including schools, colleges and universities, embassies, international organizations, businesses, associations, and community organizations.
The release said that individuals and institutions tend to hold IEW events as it is convenient for them in their local communities, adding, “We want you to celebrate as much and as often as you like! To that end, we are providing promotional materials that allow you the flexibility to promote events whenever they may be planned!”
For additional resources and more information about this year’s IEW, please visit the Department of State IEW website.
Editor’s Note: In this Special Blog, we continue our series on the 4th of the 7 Great Achievements of Pediatric research. These achievements are brought to you courtesy of the fabulous work by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) under its new campaign 7 Great Achievements in Pediatric Research.
No. 4: Saving Premature Babies by Helping Them Breathe
Prematurity is the main cause of global death in newborn infants.
In the United States alone, 1 in 9 newborns is born prematurely, about 450,000 children a year. Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) is a life-threatening respiratory condition frequently diagnosed in premature newborns. Research showed that it develops when the immature lungs are unable to produce a compound known as surfactant in quantities needed for the infant to breathe.
Studies demonstrated that instillation of surfactant to the lungs of premature animals reduced respiratory distress. Clinical trials of supplementary surfactant for newborns with RDS led to the medication’s approval by the FDA for widespread use in 1990.
As a result of surfactant administration, newborn deaths from RDS have decreased by 41% between 1985-1991.