A student-run blog wants to bridge the gap between the general public and health news.
Future Voices of Public Health, hosted on the UF Master of Public Health website, first began in late September to promote dialogue between students studying public health and people outside of the field, said Summer Slaughter, the director of the blog.
“We want to present the information in the most simple way, but also effectively communicate the issues and problems we’re seeing in the public health field,” the 23-year-old UF public health masters student said.
She said the idea started from a conversation with her friends and then with her professor, Mark Hart. After listening to what she had in mind, Hart pitched the blog idea to the college, and it was approved.
During the first month, a student will post every week on topics ranging from vaccinations to natural disasters, she said. Public health topics can be found in almost every area of study, she added.
She said she hopes students outside of the public health field who are interested will submit ideas for posts through the website.
Johanzynn Gatewood, 24, wrote the latest blog post, which focused on the role public health plays in preparing for emergencies.
The UF public health masters student got involved with the site when Slaughter, her classmate, approached her with the idea.
Gatewood said she was excited to be published on the blog, especially because it’s a great way to present her ideas and thought.
“We want to bring awareness to the blog and get students with different perspectives sharing their own experiences,” she said.
Even though the blog isn’t equivalent to a peer-reviewed journal, Gatewood said it was a good way to get published.
Casey Parker, 24, got involved after seeing Slaughter speak about the blog at her master’s orientation.
The UF entomology and public health graduate student now works as an editor and is responsible for fact-checking and editing articles, she said. She looks for any facts that could be misleading and makes sure the articles are objective.
“We don’t want to be biased, we just want to give information,” Parker said.