University of Missouri Announces Launch of New Department of Public Health

The University of Missouri has announced the launch of the new Department of Public Health, which will be shared by the School of Health Professions and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The new department will house the interdisciplinary Master of Public Health program and establish academic infrastructure needed to expand public health education and research at the institution, according to The Columbia Tribune.

The department is an important step in progressing Missouri’s standing in the Association of American Universities and extending precision medicine to Missouri residents, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs Dr. Latha Ramchand said in a campuswide email.

“The Department of Public Health will be the academic home, and create the necessary academic support for research and education in public health that will significantly expand MU’s relevance and influence on the critical public health issues we face worldwide,” Ramchand said.

The Master of Public Health program was created as an interdisciplinary graduate program in 2007 and has been administered by the School of Health Professions since 2017. The masters program includes faculty from the Department of Health Sciences in addition to affiliate faculty from the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Arts and Science, the Sinclair School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, the College of Human Environmental Sciences and the School of Journalism.

“Public health is at the core of solving some of our most pressing global challenges: food and water security, climate change, epidemics and population health, to name a few,” said Dr. Kristofer Hagglund, dean of the School of Health Professions. “Interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students in the new Department of Public Health will be uniquely positioned to compete for funding, advance the science of public health, and work together to improve the lives of individuals and communities.”

The newly launched online veterinary public health program has attracted students worldwide from its unique model and interdisciplinary faculty and focus, according to a University of Missouri Health release.

“Veterinary public health research and study is critical to advancing solutions for global health challenges,” said Dr. Carolyn Henry, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “With the creation of this department, MU is well-positioned to maximize interdisciplinary teaching and research and expand its contributions to the body of knowledge in public health.”

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