Iana Simeonov works in public health at UC San Francisco and recently ended tenure with California Poison Control System. She recently launched a program in public health called the Pesticide Safety Project for farm workers and their families in the US.
For the first time, this program puts teaching tools in the hands of farm workers and community health professionals where they need them most-on their mobile devices.
Iana Simeonov is also responsible for insights and innovation in mobile and wireless technology at the UCSF School of Medicine’s mLabs, which creates and integrates state-of-the-art mobile technology solutions across the spectrum of digital health as well as a principal investigator/project director at the Public Health Institute, a global public health organization. Iana’s focus is on discovering and leveraging trends in technology, investigating new technologies and accelerating innovation within the continuum of consumer and public health with a particularly interest in underserved and Hispanic populations. She has developed and launched bilingual text-messaging campaigns, online games, apps and produced digital and mobile tools for public health programs and projects nationwide.
Other areas of expertise include consumer research around health communications and mobile device use, social marketing, brand development and positioning, and using social media to gain consumer insights and promote health.
Funded by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in collaboration with the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at the University of California, Davis, the Pesticide Safety Project consists of a mobile-optimized website featuring five Spanish-language videos using cinematic storytelling to relay key messages along with illustrated tips and links to resources. There are also 30 second public service announcements detailing tips.
Insights from research with farm workers and promotores (community members
who receive specialized training to provide basic health education in the community) guided the decision to create mobile-first, visually-rich tools and compelling how-to videos.
“We learned from farm workers and promotores about their heavy reliance on mobile devices. For many farm workers, mobile phones are their sole gateway to the Internet. Community health workers asked for tools that they could use on their cell phones rather than carrying heavy printed materials,” said Iana Simeonov, project lead and director of program development at the CPCS.
Simeonov added that for farm workers’ health and the health of their families, it’s important that they protect themselves. If a farm worker comes in contact with a pesticide or is showing signs and symptoms of being exposed to pesticides at work, it is critical to notify their employer who must provide them with medical attention immediately.
Simeonov said, “Pesticides can be dangerous if they get in or on the body; how dangerous depends on the type of pesticide, the amount and length of exposure. It’s important to know that you can report pesticide problems or possible misuse without giving your name. Make sure to have the name of the county where the exposure occurred.”
Visit Iana Simeonov for more information.