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Student Outbreak Response Team (SORT) Gives Students a Look Into Community Public Health Outreach

For an organization known for their leadership and involvement with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Student Outbreak Response Team (SORT) has taken the opportunity post-pandemic to build off its momentum and redefine its role on campus. 

(right to left): Sarah Heiland, Lauren Trewyn, Emily Killian, Sophia Cantwell.
(right to left): Sarah Heiland, Lauren Trewyn, Emily Killian, Sophia Cantwell..

SORT, made up of primarily Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Health Administration (MHA) students at Saint Louis University (SLU), works to get students involved with outbreak response through training and education events led by epidemiologists and public health professionals while exposing students to current issues in the infectious disease field. 

Training events like these allow students the opportunity to become certified to assist local health departments as needed. 

SORT recently hosted an event on Friday, November 4th with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention. Two epidemiologists from the department came to the Salus Center to discuss standard interviewing methods, confidentiality, and different skills public health workers utilize during outbreak response interviews to get students certified for deployment. The event is held annually and gives the SLU community the opportunity to get to know what the organization is all about and knowledge about future involvement. 

SORT has now been working to shift focus towards monkeypox education for students as well as hosting events to address the high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections within the community.

Lauren Trewyn, second year MPH student with a concentration in Epidemiology, has loved being a part of SORT because it has allowed her to become exposed to many different topics within the field of public health work that might be outside her specific area of interest. 

Emily Killian, second year MPH student studying Behavioral Science and Health Education mentions one aspect she loves about being involved with SORT is the social events and networking opportunities that give her a chance to make a connection with other students within the college. SORT is continuously working hard to inspire students to take their passions and knowledge of public health and to work within the St. Louis community towards making it a safer and healthier place for everyone.

College for Public Health and Social Justice

The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind, studying social, environmental and physical influences that together determine the health and well-being of people and communities. It also is the only accredited school or college of public health among nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States. Guided by a mission of social justice and focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex health problems, the college offers nationally recognized programs in public health and health administration.