Welcome to 2021! Last year was an unexpected year for everyone, and an especially unexpecting year for public health. We were put front and centre on the global stage to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic. It truly was a bittersweet moment, to have to deal with a global crisis, while getting used to the increased recognition and attention.
I, like many others, went from being exhausted and frustrated with 2020, to adapting my lifestyle to this new normal of working from home, seeing my family from a distance or virtually, ordering groceries online, and grabbing a mask whenever the doorbell rang or I needed to step out. I felt like I got into a new rhythm stepping into 2021. Despite the increase in cases and the new variant circulating in the community, I am finding some hope again, and especially more motivation to continue building PH SPOT, to support my fellow public health peers.
In this post, I wanted to focus on a few of the successes we’ve had at PH SPOT during 2020, and highlight what you can expect from us in 2021. Our community means the world to us, and we pride ourselves on bringing you along the journey of reflecting on PH SPOT’s growth, as well as the planning of PH SPOT’s future.
A look back, so we can look ahead
In 2020, we continued to deliver on the weekly newsletter of public health opportunities and publish blog posts. In 2020 alone, we sent 52 newsletters to our community members, and published 24 blog posts. In addition, we also welcomed the fourth cohort to our Infographics 101 course this fall, totalling our student numbers to just over 200. That’s 200+ public health professionals committing themselves to improve the way they communicate public health information to the populations they serve!
You can now enrol in the Infographics 101 course at resources.phspot.ca. We have removed the annual cohort-based enrolment. Now students can sign up when the time is right for them.
New for 2020 was the addition of the new opinion blog category allowing public health professionals to reflect on important public health topics. We received 6 opinion submissions in varying topics – take a read!
- Reflections on public health & health equity during COVID-19
- The rise of infographics, and why I believe all public health professionals should know how to design one
- Prevention is key, crisis or not
- What is our responsibility?
- How Women Impact Public Health (The Good that Women Do for Public Health)
- Hidden harms experience spikes as well. We just choose not to see them.
Submit your own opinion piece at phspot.ca/contribute
Another exciting new addition to PH SPOT was the podcast, PH SPOTlight: Public health career stories, inspiration, and guidance from current-day public health heroes. In 2020, we released 23 podcast episodes on the topics of career tips, studying in public health, leadership, career advancement and family life, a day in the life of public health professionals, and entrepreneurship/consulting in public health.
The podcast is available for you on various platforms: you can listen to it directly on our website, as well as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.
And finally, one of our proudest achievements of the year is the expansion of the PH SPOT team! We’ve added 3 more team members, totalling our team to 5 dedicated and passionate individuals looking to support your public health careers.
Alignment of products to our three pillars
Founded in 2017, PH SPOT is a career development platform for public health professionals around the world. Our mission is to provide public health professionals with great resources to build their careers. Our resources include content, such as the blog and podcast, tools, and courses to name a few. These resources fall into one of three pillars that we see as important stages to building a career in public health:
- Studying public health (ex: Canadian MPH programs list)
- Getting hired in public health (ex: podcast episode with Kiriga, Public health job application tips from an HR Professional or the Contemplating Consulting course)
- Building skills in public health communication (ex: Infographics 101 How to design public health infographics with software you know & use)
Going forward, you will find not only more blog posts and podcast episodes being released under these three pillars, but also downloadable tools (i.e. ebooks, guides), online courses and virtual workshops.
All in all, this is a new year and with renewed energy, PH SPOT is going to grow aggressively to support the needs of our public health peers who have been working hard to build a better tomorrow.