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BYU student-produced video wins national public health contest

A video created by a group of first-year students in the Brigham Young University master in public health program was recently selected as a winner in the National Public Health Week Viral Video Contest.

The video, titled "I Saw the Signs," has been submitted to the Department of Homeland Security's ready.gov Web site for possible posting. It can also be seen at nphw.org.

Submissions were accepted from high school, college and graduate-level students in all disciplines. The videos were intended to help America prepare for a public health threat.

Under the direction of Gene Cole, professor in the Department of Health Sciences, the team of students included Amanda Richard, Annah Layman, Christine Weiss, Emily McIntyre, Garrett Hoyt, Grant Sunada, Jonathan Anderson, Lisa Morris, Lori Sugiyama, Marin Poole, Megan Dennis and Tamara Christensen.

The BYU video depicts a young family whose failure to heed signs and warnings about possible health and safety risks leaves them “out of hope.”

Cole presented the original idea for the video to the students, who "overwhelmingly wanted to do this," he said. The students put it together in approximately a week, focusing on the idea that America needs to prepare for public health emergencies, according to first-year student Grant Sunada.

"We wanted to touch the hearts of the viewers and show them this idealistic family that everyone could connect with," said Sunada. "And then we tried to contrast it starkly with disaster footage and contrast it again with the new look on the family. We wanted to say, 'Do you want to wait to see all these signs before it comes?'"

Sunada said the students hoped the video would encourage the local community as well as the nation to prepare before disaster strikes,

Former President Bill Clinton instigated the first National Public Health Week in April 1995, calling upon federal, state and local health agencies to build healthier communities and raise awareness of public health concerns across the country. The American Public Health Association directs the yearly program.

For more information, contact Gene Cole at (801) 422-7491.

Writer: Elizabeth Kasper

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