Westat staff made a strong impact on the 2023 American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting & Expo, held in Atlanta, Georgia, November 12-15, 2023! This year’s conference theme was Creating the Healthiest Nation: Overcoming Social and Ethical Challenges, and we followed up with some of our experts in public health research, health communications, and human resources to see what Westat’s presence brought to the conference.
Westat Work and Presentations
Our public health experts presented on pressing topics, including disparities in opioid overdose deaths and using meaningful measures of community engagement to ensure trust and inclusion in research. “APHA gives us the opportunity to share potentially life-changing research with the broader public health community,” noted Jennifer Kuo, MHS, Westat Vice President and Practice Director for Public Health. “When we learn from each other in a forum like this, we amplify the impact of our work and the work of others.”
According to Donna Durant Atkinson, PhD, Associate Director for Behavioral Health and Health Policy, “Understanding the impact that the opioid epidemic is having on the U.S. population is extremely important. We need to know where to allocate resources to address risky behaviors. While the impact has been predominantly in the White population, our research shows that Blacks are being impacted at an alarming rate especially those over 45 years of age.”
Westat staff also helped to represent our National Institutes of Health (NIH) Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) client, meeting with conference attendees at the CEAL booth and supporting 2 special events focused on the impact of this work. Muntasir Sayeedi, MPH, Research Associate, staffed the booth and observed: “It’s crucial for public health advocates to be aware of an NIH initiative that is dedicating immense resources for community-engaged approaches. It was an honor to support CEAL at APHA this year and give attendees the opportunity to learn about the importance of community-engaged research, how CEAL utilized that to mitigate COVID-19 disparities during the pandemic, and future goals for CEAL.”
Westat’s Busola Saka, MPP, a Principal Research Associate, agreed about the importance of CEAL’s presence at APHA: “The public health community was able to learn more about how CEAL is partnering with communities to research and implement community-driven interventions to address health inequities.” To learn more about CEAL, visit the CEAL website.
Careers and Internships
We met with hundreds of people at our exhibit booth, where Westat staff shared information about our work, chatted with potential partners, and spread the word about our internship program and other open positions on our team.
Kelly Dingee, Associate Director of Talent Management and Development, said “APHA was an amazing opportunity to meet so many professionals in the public health field and share information about careers and internships with Westat. Westat’s work in public health, coupled with remote work, flexibility, and our collaborative company culture make us an employer of choice.”
The days at APHA are busy, and they go by fast! We invited clients, partners, and jobseekers to join us for coffee, smoothies, and breakfast one morning to get a jump start on the day while having a low-key opportunity to network. Now that remote and flexible work schedules have allowed us to work across the country, it’s more important than ever to get together in person when we have a chance.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by to see us at presentations, our booth, or at breakfast. It was great connecting with you!
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