Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has received a five-year accreditation for its Masters of Public Health Program (MPH). This accreditation is through the Council on Education for Public Health, which is an independent agency recognized by the US Department of Education.
“This accreditation attests to the quality of our MPH Program,” says Jay Magaziner, PhD, MSHyg, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. “Having an MPH Program on the same campus with six professional schools and a graduate school opens up many new training opportunities to prepare the next generation of public health professionals. Our emphasis on an integrated approach to public health training in which students can seek degrees in public health and another discipline simultaneously is a hallmark feature of our program.”
Renee Royak-Schaler, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology and director of the Masters of Public Health Program was instrumental in securing this accreditation. “This is an important and logical next step to address public health needs in Baltimore and throughout Maryland,” said Dr. Royak-Schaler.
Students can choose from two fields of concentration. There is an MPH concentration in epidemiology for students who desire quantitative research skills in epidemiologic study design and data analysis. The other MPH concentration focuses on community and population health, which prepares students to apply conceptual and methodological approaches of both social and behavioral sciences to the practice and research of public health. Dr. Royak-Schaler says, “The curriculum provides critical training in examining and understanding the root causes of disparities in disease risk, access and utilization of preventive and health care services, and health outcomes.”
The Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine has a close working relationship with many of the other professional schools on the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus. The department offers a variety of different joint degrees. There is a joint MD/MPH offered within the School of Medicine, as well as with other schools, such as: the School of Law (JD/MPH), the School of Social Work (MSW/MPH), the School of Pharmacy (PharmD/MPH), the School of Dentistry (DDS/MPH), and the School of Nursing (MS Nursing/MPH). Students are able to integrate their training in public health practice with training in the medical, pharmaceutical, nursing, dental, social work, legal and allied health professions.
“This accreditation represents the high quality of the program and enhances its national reputation for promoting the best standards of practice and research in public health and safety. It also assures that students are trained to have the utmost competence in the public health arena,” says E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland and Dean. Dr. Reece says the accreditation offers another opportunity for University of Maryland graduates to enhance their professional mobility and employment opportunities in an increasingly competitive job market.
David J. Ramsay, DM, DPhil, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, adds “given the national shortage of professionals trained in public health, the University of Maryland MPH accreditation will attract additional students to this program in order to meet the growing demand for this expertise.”