The Public Health Working Group includes practitioners and academic experts from Russia and the U.S. who seek to identify and implement innovative solutions to common public health challenges in both countries. One of the working group’s primary goals is to prevent the impact of non-communicable diseases, such as tobacco and alcohol dependency, obesity, and legal and illegal drugs, across diverse populations. The group employs a cross-sectional approach that includes family involvement, industry relations and education. Working group members also explore potential paths for global health cooperation between the U.S. and Russia, such as research, agenda-setting, capacity-building, surveillance and monitoring, and interventions in the areas of communicable diseases, maternal and child health, and non-communicable diseases and injury.
Currently, the Public Health Working Group focuses on the sphere of mobile health (mHealth), a field that utilizes mobile communication devices (e.g., cell phones, PDAs, tablets) to provide timely and targeted information and services to both healthcare providers and clients. Specifically, the working group seeks to develop mHealth approaches to interventions for at-risk populations. As a key result of this project, the group will implement an mHealth pilot program that will provide at-risk women with the support they need to boost their adherence to treatment and medical regimens, receive psychological and informational support and develop useful skills to take care of their own health and that of their dependents. The program will be based on the strategic combination of mHealth and conventional (offline) components and will be rolled out in Fall River, Massachusetts (through the SSTAR Clinic) and St. Petersburg, Russia (through Humanitarian Action Fund).
In 2013, working group members produced a set of smoking cessation guidelines that were disseminated to physicians, government agencies and public health NGO’s in multiple Russian regions and in the US. The result of this collaboration was the development of smoking cessation guidelines, Tobacco Use Cessation and Treatment of Tobacco Dependence, which includes specific steps to help stop tobacco use among women, pregnant women, and children.
In 2014, the Public Health Working Group conducted interdisciplinary research on the topic of migrant health in Russia and the US, which resulted in the publication of a white paper “Promoting Health among Migrants in the U.S. and Russian through a Public Health Approach.” The paper provides recommendations for US and Russian migration experts and service providers on best practices in health promotion among migrant communities.
Also in 2014, working group members from the Health and Development Foundation (HDF) in Russia and Stanley Street Treatment and Resources (SSTAR) in the US implemented a joint linkage project that focused on developing a manual for public health campaigns over mobile devices (“mHealth”) to assist practitioners in addressing health issues facing at-risk women in Russia and the US. The result of the project was the publication of “The Roadmap: mHealth Interventions for At-Risk Women.”
The Public Health Working Group meets with its fellows at the 2015 SEE Fellowship Launch.
Public Health Working Group Member Nancy Paull presents the “Roadmap for mHealth Intervention Targeting At-Risk Women” at the 2014 SEE Conference.
The Public Health Working Group.