UTEP MPH Student Films to Screen at Public Health Film Festival
Last Updated on August 19, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Originally published August 19, 2019
By UC Staff
Three films produced by Master of Public Health (MPH) students at The University of Texas at El Paso will be screened at the American Public Health Association's (APHA) Global Public Health Film Festival in November.
The films were selected from a large number of submissions and were judged to be of high quality and interest.
- "Don’t be a Follower, be a Hero, Take a Stand!" by Narges K. Kalantarian, Elizabeth Alvarado Navarro, Zuleika Curiel, Alejandra Martinez and Brianda Sarmiento.
- “Opioid Overdose Prevention in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region” by Tyler Beltran, Mika Gehre, Andrea Perez and Gilbert Perez.
- “William Learns about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)” by Maribel Dominguez, Michelle Martinez, Rosa Ramirez and Diana Flores.
The films were created as public service announcements for the class “Eliminating Health Disparities” taught by Jeannie Concha, Ph.D., assistant professor in UTEP’s Department of Public Health Sciences.
"Don’t be a Follower, be a Hero, Take a Stand!” is a two-minute film about how parents and children can prevent school bullying.
“Bullying is linked to adverse outcomes such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression, substance abuse, and suicide,” said Elizabeth Alvarado Navarro, who expects to graduate from the MPH program in fall 2019. “Our film focuses on several aspects of bullying, including the influence of bystanders, factors associated with the likelihood of victimization and risks, factors that are often associated with the higher probability of engaging in bullying behavior, and the gender differences in bullying victims.”
Gilbert Perez, a 2016 UTEP psychology graduate, said his team focused on opioid use for their film “Opioid Overdose Prevention in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region” to call attention to the increase in opioid-related overdoses and deaths in the El Paso/Ciudad Juárez region.
“We conduct street outreach and we can say, firsthand, that people are dying due to policies that were implemented to ‘control’ the opioid epidemic, such as prescription monitoring programs (PMP),” Perez said. “While PMPs are effective at preventing overprescribing behaviors, we are completely ignoring those that have already developed a dependency. Additionally, fentanyl has hit our borderland and consumers are not aware that drugs are being laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 60 times more potent than heroin.”
The film, “William Learns about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)” teaches children and adults about adverse childhood experiences or ACEs, which are traumatic experiences such as abuse, neglect or family dysfunction that occur to people under the age of 18.
“In our film, we focused on raising awareness about ACEs while at the same time providing a hopeful view to the decrease of ACE prevalence,” said Maribel Dominguez, a Gates Millennium Scholar and UTEP Students for Public Health president. “Since the start of the MPH program, my focus has always been on ACEs as I hope to one day be able to help children and adults who have suffered from childhood trauma. Our childhood sets the path for our development and mental well-being. We truly think children deserve to have a happy and safe childhood.”
APHA's Global Public Health Film Festival aims to be a catalyst in the movement toward a healthier nation by sparking the conversation about health in creative ways. The film festival features public health films of all types and topics, including this year's theme, "Creating the Healthiest Nation: For Science.The film festival will be held during APHA's Annual Meeting and Expo Nov. 2-6 in Philadelphia.