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A Successful 2020 Summer Institute

More than 100 attendees from across the country gathered online to engage in a training at the fifth annual Urban Health Summer Institute, June 22-26. This was the first year that the Summer Institute has been hosted online. Midway through the planning process, the UHC met the challenge to rethink how the Summer Institute could continue mid-pandemic. The Summer Institute held seven courses during the last full week of June. The Summer Institute offered attendees the opportunity to gain skills in tools, evaluation and data analysis methods for public and urban health research. Since the inception of the Summer Institute in 2016, the Urban Health Collaborative has trained more than 325 participants through this program.

2020 Courses included:
• Introduction to Multilevel Analysis for Urban Health Research
• Big Data uses in Public Health: Structuring, Analyzing and Visualizing Across Data Sources
• Introduction to GIS
• Data Visualization in R for Urban Health
• Policy Analysis: Applied and Practical Approaches to Big and Small Data
• Introduction to Bayesian Analysis for Public Health
• Confronting Organizational Stress as the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unfold.

The course, Confronting Organizational Stress as the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unfold was co-sponsored by West Philly Promise Neighborhood (WPPN) and was hosted as part of the UHC coronavirus response to support community organizations adapting to the pandemic. The course, Introduction to GIS was co-sponsored by the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health.

105 participants included students and staff from Dornsife School of Public Health, and other universities including NC State, Colorado State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Puerto Rico, and many others. Professionals  from across Philadelphia and the U.S. participated, from orgaizations like the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Pew Charitable Trusts, Detroit Health Department, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fox Chase Cancer Center, New Jersey Department of Health, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  

In the exit survey and across social media, participants remarked on how much they learned in these condensed courses. Participants appreciated that it was offered online and that the content from the courses was very useful for their daily work. They also mentioned that the courses were helpful and that the instructors were knowledgeable and engaging. Participants remarked how they will use the skills they learned in their research and on the job to improve their programs and bring new perspective to their work.