(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — The Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health will celebrate National Public Health Week (April 7-13) beginning with a “Fun Run” and 10-year anniversary celebration Saturday, April 5.

Activities during the week include a rural health preparedness training seminar and research poster presentation.

Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at the HSC-SRPH complex on Adriance Road in College Station, Ciro Sumaya, M.D., M.P.H.T.M., founding dean of the HSC-SRPH, and Eddie Coulson, superintendent of the College Station Independent School District, will kick off National Public Health Week with the “Spring Forward 5K Fun Run/Walk – Take the Public Health Challenge.” KNDE-FM “Candy 95” will broadcast live and provide water for all participants.

Open to the public, event registration is $15, with proceeds benefiting the Brazos Valley Community Action Agency Community Health Center. The HSC-SRPH website, srph.tamhsc.edu, has more information and a registration link. Following the run is a demonstration by the Academy of Modern Martial Arts in front of the HSC-SRPH complex.

Saturday night, the HSC-SRPH will hold its 10-year anniversary celebration at the George Bush Presidential Library and Conference Center. A wine-and-cheese hour begins at 5:30 p.m., accompanied by library tours. The formal dinner is at 7 p.m., with entertainment by local musician Karan Chavis.

After the dinner, the School will present awards to several people and organizations in recognition of their commitment to public health. Public Health Champion awards will be presented to Harrison C. Spencer, M.D., M.P.H., president and CEO of the Association of Schools of Public Health; Phillip D. Robinson, chairman of the Charter Development Council; Don Strickland, first chair of the Brazos Valley Health Partnership; the late John F. Boff, founder and first president and CEO of the Texas Organization of Rural Community Hospitals (TORCH); Chevron; and TORCH.

The week of April 7-11, the HSC-SRPH will host the first portion of the Texas Training Initiative for Emergency Response (T-TIER) and the third annual research poster session and student research poster contest.

The USA Center for Rural Public Health Preparedness – a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center for Public Health Preparedness – will deliver three-and-a-half days of education, followed by a full-day exercise encompassing the core competencies of public health preparedness and all-hazards response. T-TIER program participants are public health professionals from throughout Texas and surrounding states, representing many different organizations and agencies. More information is available at www.rural-preparedness.org

Faculty and student research posters will be on display April 4-11 at the HSC-SRPH Classroom Building. Research committee members will judge posters Tuesday, April 8, with awards announced the following day. Student posters highlight research, outreach and educational activities at the School.

Fun Run/Walk sponsors include the Academy of Modern Martial Arts, Active for Life, Benjamin Knox Galleries, KNDE-FM, Coffee Station, College Station Medical Center, Edible Arrangements, Farm Patch Market, Fazoli’s, Freebirds, Frittella’s, Glaceau Water (Coca-Cola), Great American Cookie Co., It’s a Grind, Jamba Juice, Jason’s Deli, Luigi’s, Messina Hof Winery and Resort, Scott & White, and the Southwest Rural Health Research Center.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its seven colleges located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, and the School of Rural Public Health.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell