Intern Alicia Manion Takes on Childhood Lead Poisoning and Prevention with the City of Concord

written by Andrea Guzman, Workforce Development Coordinator

Alicia Manion is a recipient of a Health Equity student stipend from the New England Public Health Training Center made available through the New Hampshire Public Health Association (NHPHA). She is working with the City of Concord on a Childhood Lead Poisoning and Prevention project. Alicia is a public health student at Benedictine University in Illinois, which she is attending online from here in New Hampshire.

She expressed gratitude to the NHPHA for the internship opportunity, stating, “I’m grateful to have gotten this so quickly. As soon as I joined the NHPHA I got a flyer promoting this internship. I did not expect it to be so easy, so quick, and in an area that I’m very interested and invested in.”

When discussing major goals of the project, Alicia states that because there are a lot of older homes in New England, especially in Concord, there must be a focus on outreach and awareness to families that are at risk for lead poisoning. She says that she really wants to raise awareness about screening recommendations.

“Children need to be screened for blood-lead levels at 12 and 24 months, and we want to raise the rate of screenings. We also want to raise awareness of public resources. There are a lot of resources in the state that are available to support families and children, and we want families to know what’s available to help support them,” she said.

A major component of the project has been researching intervention initiatives and creating educational material to promote awareness. She wants to explore a variety of ways to reach as many people as possible. 

Part of her outreach has been asking schools, pediatrician’s offices, places of worship, and businesses if they would be willing to promote the lead poisoning prevention educational content. She feels very encouraged by the positive response from these members of the community and their willingness to help look after one another.

Alicia’s areas of study are epidemiology and public health policy, as well as health promotion. Her career interests span various areas of public health, and she is particularly interested in maternal and child health and software analysis. Alicia believes that she has gained so much from this experience. She feels she has a better understanding of the public health infrastructure in New Hampshire, the intersection of public health and policy, as well as an appreciation for the collaboration among public health organizations. She has met many people and made a lot of connections as a result of the internship.

Alicia has attended the NHPHA’s Annual Meeting in the past and looks forward to future NHPHA events. We are very excited to be helping Alicia work toward her goals through this internship!

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