– Dear MMSA colleagues and friends, After a hectic yet rewarding year, it is with great pleasure and passion towards SCOPH that I present to you my candidature for the post of Public Health Officer for the term 2015-2016. My first steps into SCOPH were in my first year, having attended the SCOPET-SCOPH workshop, and found myself and two dear colleagues of mine coordinating two projects within the Climate Care Campaign; the “CAMPaign for Climate Care” and “Care for Our Air”. These were a great success, and the “CAMPaign for Climate Care went on to win “MMSA Project of the Year 2013-2014”. Therefore, I have gained vital experience as an MMSA coordinator to kickstart my involvement within this association. This experience motivated me to become further involved within the MMSA and particularly within SCOPH. Therefore, I successfully applied for the post of SCOPH Secretary and the post of SCOPH PR Rep for the term 2014-2015. During the past year, I worked hand in hand with the Public Health Officer to ensure that all SCOPH events are planned and executed to the greatest quality possible. As SCOPH Secretary, I gained further insight into the work involved of a member of the Board of Directors from the beginning of a term till the end of it. Furthermore, this role has developed my skills in planning and coordinating events, having been involved in practically every SCOPH project of this year. To top it all off, I have just coordinated SCOPH’s biggest event of the term; HealthFest, and helped coordinate the Healthy Lifestyles Conference with the President and Public Health Officer. Furthermore, my experience as a SCOPH PR Rep helped me understand the work behind promoting MMSA events, which is a vital aspect of SCOPH. The “Corporate Training” organized last summer by the PRO helped me learn new skills in PR, all which were utilized to help promote all of SCOPH’s events of the term. The highlight of my term within this post was designing the Health Education Booklet, a new SCOPH Project of this term which contained articles about Public Health Issues, written by MMSA members and reviewed by medical professionals. The PR skills I have developed during this past term shall be of great importance to improve liaison with the PR team to promote SCOPH projects the best we can and increase public outreach. The skills I developed during this past year will be further enriched in April, when I will be attending SCOPH Sessions at EuRegMe in Aalborg, Denmark. Here I will be attending sessions where I will interact with other people who share my passion about SCOPH, Public Health Officers and Assistants from different European countries which have similar Public Health issues. In addition, I am also attending a pre-EuRegMe workshop about Alcohol Youth Policy, which contains sessions about Public Health Leadership, which will undoubtedly help me develop my skills relevant to managing this very active Standing Committee. Considering my previous experience, motivation and passion for SCOPH, I believe that I am ready to take my role within SCOPH to a new level. I believe that I am capable to lead a new SCOPH team into a new term, where we will build on what we have achieved this past term, and continue coordinating quality projects that the MMSA deserves. My aim for the upcoming term is to exploit different media for increased public outreach in health awareness and opening the standing committee to receive contributions from all MMSA members, all of whom have unique capabilities and ideas which can further enrich this standing committee, while maintaining the high standards that SCOPH has established. Should I be entrusted with representing you, I pledge that I am ready for this new challenge and I will be fully committing my time and energy to work for the better of this standing committee and fulfill my aims, and for the better of this ever-growing association. “Health is Hope. Hope is Everything”. Thank you and best regards, Jordy Borg MD II Plan of Action 1. Continuity, Consistency and Improvement Following last year’s restructuring of the SCOPH campaigns to decrease the events but increase the quality, and reducing the SCOPH team by half, I aim to continue this. After analyzing past and present SCOPH campaigns, I present to you the campaigns I aim to carry out in the next term to fulfill SCOPH’s aims, and IFMSA’s vision and mission for SCOPH: I. The Big Three SCOPH’s biggest three events: World Heart Day, World Diabetes Day and HealthFest, have cemented themselves into SCOPH’s annual calendar of events. Non-Communicable Diseases (which includes diabetes, CVDs, respiratory diseases and cancers), account for 90% of Malta’s mortality rate, and therefore these three campaigns shall be at the heart of this Standing Committee. Like the previous term, these will be tried to be held in different locations to spread our public outreach, but the essential thing is to organize these events in frequently commuted areas. I aim to improve these events by improving promotion and liaising with NGOs such as the Malta Heart Foundation and Malta Diabetes Association to further enrich our campaigns. Furthermore, I aim to boost these three biggest events by inviting medical professionals to be guests at our event in order to be open for public consultation. Two coordinators will be appointed for World Heart Day and World Diabetes Day, while HealthFest will be in the hands of the SCOPH Secretary and his appointed Organizing Committee. II. Beat the Burn This project has flourished to reach a status that has become the pride of this Standing Committee. Following IFMSA’s recent reform of its Transnational Project programme to now become IFMSA Programmes, I am going to continue following up the recent change so that this project can continue to grow on an international scale, with several countries expressing interest in adopting this project. Locally, I aim to continue keeping this project up to standard, while expanding its outreach by organizing outreaches in different locations than previous years. I also intend on adopting the recently launched music video of this campaign in the summer’s peer education sessions. Furthermore, I also aim to maintain this projects‘ activity beyond the sunny summer months, and make an idea of last term a reality – Organizing a seminar for tattoo artists and beauticians to increase their knowledge in skin cancers and help spot skin abnormalities on their clients. Two coordinators will be appointed for this campaign. III. SCOPH Goes Local With the last term being the first full term of this campaign, a better analysis could have been made from this campaign and what could be done to further improve it. One of the problems we were facing was having an inaccurate BMI scale, by calculating weight on a bathroom weight scale and measuring height by a measuring tape. This could be improved by borrowing or investing into a proper BMI scale, which has a measuring rod attached to a weight scale. Furthermore, the tent which the MMSA currently owns is not adequate enough for the rough weather in the winter months. I aim to improve this by either looking for tent rental services and negotiate a discounted price (by proper liaisoning with the Financial Officer) or else contact a tent borrowing service, such as Agenzija Zghazagh. By these improvements, we could improve MMSA’s service to our clients who request these healthchecks and improve our image to the general public. Also, I aim to merge SCOPH’s Health Education Campaign with this. Following the launch of the Health Education Booklet, the SCOPH goes Local Campaign will contact places of work, a sphere of society often neglected by our association, to deliver interactive talks about health promotion and disease prevention. This may be combined with healthchecks to the same employees. To compensate to this added responsiblity, I aim to increase the coordinators for this campaign from one to two coordinators. IV. Blood and Organ Donation This campaign has been given a boost this year following the campaign’s petition on making the donor card a legally binding document. I aim to continue pushing to see that this petition will reach its aim by liaising with the Social Affairs Committee of the Maltese Parliament. The demand for blood banks has increased,and in order to book a blood drive, one must think more in advance than in the past. Therefore, once recruiting a blood and organ donation coordinator, the plan of all blood drives organized during the term will be drafted and once approved, booked in the summer months. I am targeting to book at least one blood drive per semester, and organize groups of students willing to donate blood, especially to encourage students who want to donate blood but feel reluctant going alone. One coordinator will be appointed for this campaign. V. Healthy Lifestyles Campaign This campaign will return, and take place the Let’s Get Physical campaign. The three pillars for preventing NCDs are physical activity, a healthy diet and refraining from smoking. Physical activity has been the focus of these three through the Let’s Get Physical campaign, while the other two have been set aside. Therefore, this campaign shall be upgraded to be called the Healthy Lifestyles Campaign, the aim of which is to i) advocate about the importance of the three pillars and ii) increasing incentives for the public to make changes in their lives and adopt a healthy lifestyle. This campaign will be at the forefront of SCOPH’s work, as SCOPH’s aim is to educate the public to take control over the determinants of their health. VI. Basic Life Support The aim of this campaign is to increase incentives for students to obtain the Basic Life Support course, thus bridging the gap in the curriculum for students to obtain a requirement for their foundation course. This is not in line with the aims of this Standing Committee, but rather with that of SCOME, of which one of the aims is to bridge the gap in the students‘ curriculum. Therefore, once elected, I will discuss with the elected Medical Education Officer to transfer this campaign. Should this not succeed, this campaign shall remain part of SCOPH, as it is still a sought-after service by medical students, a service which should not be removed. In that case, two co-ordinators will be appointed. VII. Data Management Following its introduction last year, in order to increase participation from clinical year students, I aim to take this role to a new level. Apart from compiling a yearly report from the data collected in the healthchecks conducted over the past year, the Data Management coordinator will be responsible for liaising with the National Statistics Office and the Department of Public Health at the University of Malta, to further enhance our campaigns with local statistical data, data which will drive the message home. One coordinator will be appointed for this role. VIII. Respiratory Diseases Campaign The prevalence of respiratory diseases in Malta, particularly Asthma, is high when combined to other European countries. Despite this, asthma is not completely understood, particularly when distinguishing from other respiratory diseases such as COPD. An informative campaign can be held at the end of the term, in the month of April, being close to the worldwide celebration of World Asthma Day, which is celebrated on May the 4th. Furthermore, this campaign can be further enriched by educating the public on what to do in respiratory emergencies such as a pneumothorax, punctured lung and an asthmatic attack. Two persons will be appointed for this campaign. Being late in the year, this opportunity can be used to recruit freshers into our association and ensure active participation and continuity. IX. Mental Health Campaign Mental Health is a Public Health issue which can no longer be ignored. Mental Health disorders are on the rise, and the issue is not yet fully understood locally. However, World Mental Health Day falls between two major SCOPH events – World Heart Day and World Diabetes Day, which have both established themselves in the MMSA calendar and are events that everyone looks forward to. Therefore, the best way to pass on the message of this campaign effectively without hindering the quality of other campaigns is to raise awareness all year round by the use of websites, videos, photos and infographics. The Data Management Coordinator and PR Representative of SCOPH will be responsible for carrying out this campaign. Should there be the time to conduct an event, an informative workshop could be organized to empower medical students to become spokespersons in creating awareness on mental health. X. E-posters and background campaigns As a Standing Committee, one of our biggest challenges is our jam-packed calendar. It is SCOPH’s responsibility to advocate about all health issues that concerns our country, but one year does not allow enough time for all health campaigns to take place adequately. Therefore, I believe that more emphasis should be made on alternatives methods of campaigning, rather than only coordinating events. One way to do this is by re-introducing the E-posters that used to be posted on the SCOPH Facebook Page. A call will be issued once every three months, with 3 topics to choose from, topics related to campaigns that have once been a bigger part of SCOPH, such as Climate Change, Eating Disorders, Epilepsy and Universal Health coverage. A poster will be created, highlighting key points from the topic, which will be reviewed by a medical professional. This is one of the ways to; i) Increase opportunities for participation and contribution to SCOPH and MMSA and ii) increase our public outreach about campaigns normally set aside, This campaign will be taken care of by the entire SCOPH team. 2. Formation of the SCOPH team From the above campaigns, the SCOPH team will constitute as follows: • • • • • • • • • • • Public Health Officer SCOPH Secretary Two SCOPH Goes Local Coordinators Two Beat the Burn Coordinators Two World Heart Day Coordinators Two World Diabetes Day Coordinators One Blood and Organ Donation Coordinator Two Respiratory Diseases Coordinators One Healthy Lifestyles Coordinator One Data Management Coordinator (Two Two Basic Life Support Coordinators) Therefore, the SCOPH team will constitute about 17 members, members excluding me. This will be in line with the amount of coordinators appointed last term, therefore maintaining SCOPH’s mentality of quality over quantity. Furthermore, I would like the coordinators to not just stop at coordinating their respective event, but to be ambassadors of the particular health issue, and engage in a year-long campaign, using different media. Event planning will be held between me, the SCOPH Secretary and respective coordinators, keeping the same system as this year. However, the SCOPH team will be encouraged to work together by supporting each other’s events to provide ideas to enrich each other’s campaigns. 3. Opening Our Doors – Public Health Workshop + Feedback Not everyone who wants to be active in MMSA and in SCOPH would like to have a committed role, such as a coordinator’s position. I aim to increase opportunities where MMSA members can contribute without any significant long-term commitment. Apart from being an active participant in healthchecks, workshops and outreaches, students may also contribute by: • Applying to become leaders for the day on World Heart Day and World Diabetes Day – where they can help on managing the event on the day. • Apply to make an e-poster to spread awareness online. • Write articles for magazines in order to outreach to the public through literature- increased efforts will be done to increase opportunities in this sector. Furthermore, I intend to organize a Public Health Workshop in which MMSA members are invited to participate u order to learn more about Public Health and give feedback about how the Standing Committee and its campaigns can be further improved. New campaigns branched out from some of these workshops organized in the past, so I look forward to be able to collect ideas which could have the power to make big changes. 4. Collaboration with other student organizations and NGOs. NGOs. Creating awareness should be a team effort. I aim to use the good reputation that SCOPH has built to team up with leading health organizations, such as the Malta Diabetes Association, Malta Heart Foundation and Richmond Foundation to further empower our campaigns. Furthermore, on a University level, several of the abovementioned campaigns are open to collaboration with several student health organizations, such as BetaPsi, MADS and MHSA, and continue building our flourishing relationships, as well as other Standing Committees within MMSA. 5. Widening our outreach SCOPH’s classical events include setting up a stand to outreach about public health issues or conduct free healthchecks. This limits the target population to those who are only interested in hearing about their health voluntarily, who are mainly the elderly or those who suspect to be coming up with health issues. I believe that health awareness should start at an early age. I believe that we should emphasize focus in our events to younger generations, generations particularly the working population, population, as they are at an age where health consequences start to arise and their busy lifestyle at the workplace does not help. There are different ways how to tackle this: • Children – Organize activities at our events to attract children and invite them to participate in activities which help them become health-conscious at an early age. This also brings their parents with them, who are in the prime of their lives and can be further educated to safeguard their health. • Teenagers – Just organizing activities on quad is not sufficient. Exploiting the social media and delivering effective messages through this medium may help reach out to this age group. The Eposters campaign and liaison with the PR team could help deliver this message effectively to students. • The working population – Not all adults have the time to visit our events, or to spend adequate time on the social media to encounter our messages. This does not mean they should be left out. The SCOPH Goes Local campaign could shift its emphasis to visiting workplaces and educating and empowering employees to take control over the determinants of their health. Furthermore, a huge proportion of employees are nurturing children, and they can be empowered to nurture their children in a healthy environment. 6. A more active role in national policy making This year, SCOPH has made a significant steps towards political but nonnon-partisan activity through its „Together Towards Change“ project. Furthermore, we have just concluded the „Healthy Lifestyles Conference“, which involved discussions from which a policy paper was drafted and presented to members of government. I aim to continue this by keeping SCOPH at the forefront of the MMSA Policy making team and to continue monitoring the national situation about health issues which are under discussion, and provide our position about these issues. This will help both students know more about the situation at hand and policy makers and enforcers to earn feedback and tackle the weakest points of the implemented policy. 7. A proper handoverhandover- the foundation of consistency. SCOPH’s events can only improve in quality if they build upon past successes. Therefore, I aim to improve on the handover system from one campaign coordinator to the next. First of all, I aim to collect feedback from the present coordinators as to what did they expect the role to be when applying and if the role satisfied their expectations, and to listen to any suggestions they might have to improve the role of coordinators within this standing committee. Secondly, I aim to collect all useful contacts they have used during the past term and build a contacts database which might be useful in future campaigns to speed up the planning and contacting process, leaving more time to ensure a quality event. 8. Maintaining SCOPH’s Charitable Cause „We make a living with what we get, but we make a life with what we give“ – Winston Churchill This year, the proceeds from all events went to different health-related NGOs, including the Malta Diabetes Association, the Kilimanjaro Challenge and Puttinu Cares. I aim to continue evolving SCOPH’s charitable cause, and apart from educating and empowering the public about public health issues, encourage them to help others in society who may suffer from a related condition, by investing their time, money or energy to make a difference. 9. BD Duties Apart from managing the Standing Committee on Public Health, I will also work hand in hand with the rest of the Board of Directors to properly represent the MMSA on a national and international level. I will also actively participate in all BD-related events and dedicate my time, energy and abilities to the best interests of our beloved association. Conclusion Considering all the above, I believe that my substantial experience, coupled with my passion, motivation and ideas for SCOPH to continue growing within MMSA, make me a good candidate for this post. Should I be elected, I pledge to put the medical student first and foremost of my priorities, as is our beloved association’s aim. I also aim to continue building on what has been done by my predecessors in previous terms. I look forward to work hand-in-hand with the rest of the Board of Directors to help our association grow bigger and better. Should you like to know more about my plans or myself, or you would like to share some ideas, do not hesitate to contact me I look forward to plan and execute events that are of the quality that our MMSA deserves! Thank you and best regards, Jordy Borg MD II Email : [email protected] Mobile: +356 79018383 Experience Portfolio SCOPH: Reaching the Outreacher Seminar 2013 World Diabetes Day 2013 (and Flashmob) Xmas Blood Drive 2013 “Care for our air” 20142014- Coordinator “CAMPaign for Climate Care” 20142014- Coordinator HealthFest 2014 on Campus and at Tigne Point Car wash in aid of Puttinu Cares- Assisted in coordination. Richmond Foundation Health Checks 2014 Beat the Burn Workshop 2014 Beat the Burn Outreaches in Summer 2014– Valletta, Sliema, Bugibba World Heart Day 2014 Malta Cardiac Society Conference Health Checks 2014 World Diabetes Day 2014 Basic Life Support First Aid Course 2014 Organ Donation Workshop 2014 KSU Health Days 2015 Gwardamangia Health Checks 2015 HealthFest 20152015- Head of OC (part of responsibility of SCOPH Secretary) • Healthy Lifestyles Conference 2015- Helping out in coordination. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • SCOME: • Careers’ Convention Seminar 2013 • Book Fair 2014 • Projects Seminar 2014 • Buddy for a day 2014 SCORA: • • • • World Aids Day 2014 at Quad Mr. And Mrs. Breastestis Sessions at JC 2014 RUDI! sessions at JC 2014 RUDI! Sessions at SAC 2015 SCOPET • SCOPET-SCOPH workshop • Teddy Bear Hospital session 2014 • Fitness and Nutrition session 2014 SCORP • Go SCORP 2014, Bucharest PR • Corporate Training 2014 • SCOPH PR Representative 20142014-2015 Secretary General • Annual General Meeting 2014 (Assistant Secretary) • TRD Team 2014 – Part of the Logistics Team • Extraordinary General Meeting 2014 Vice President of External Affairs • Freshers’ Week 2014 Vice President of Internal Affairs • Member of Policy Team that is drafting a policy paper about hearing impairment IFMSA • Member of Delegation for EuRegMe 2015 – Attending SCOPH sessions and an Alcohol Youth Policy pre-EuRegMe workshop.
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