Marshall Board of Governors Approves Master of Public Health Degree

Updated 46 weeks ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.-The Marshall University Board of Governors, meeting Tuesday, Aug. 27, on the Huntington campus, voted to approve the Master of Public Health (MPH) program offered through the College of Health Professions.

President Stephen J. Kopp said the master's degree in public health is a logical addition that complements Marshall's professional doctoral schools in health care, including medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy. He said he believes it builds on the university's reputation for serving the region's rural communities.

"The interdisciplinary approach is very important to our shared goal of improving rural health outcomes," Kopp said.

Dr. William Pewen, program director, said the program will help position students to be at the forefront of change, as our state faces among the most serious health challenges in the nation.

"While there are many programs in public health, few offer the sort of synergies that we will see at Marshall," Pewen said. "Interdisciplinary, collaborative practice is a key to improving health in our nation, and with our diverse health professions programs and institutions - and the opportunity for students to begin making practical contributions in a region facing critical health challenges - Marshall provides exceptional opportunity for public health students."

Dr. Michael W. Prewitt, dean of Marshall's College of Health Professions, said the MPH program will be among the most affordable, ensuring that many graduates can build careers in West Virginia and the Appalachian region.

"The Marshall MPH program will meet a critically important need for public health professionals in the region which will strengthen existing partnerships with local, state and national agencies necessary to engage in public health practice," Prewitt said. "Our graduates will achieve competency in several areas including communication, cultural competence, community-based participatory research, global health, policy and law and public health ethics."

Dr. Harry Tweel, physician director of the Cabell Huntington Health Department, is a strong advocate for public health education at the university level.

"This is a program that has been needed in our state for a long time and the changing landscape of health care has solidified the need to move in this direction," Tweel said. "Every day we work to protect the public. In order to continue to improve the services of public health, we will need trained leaders for the future. I certainly encourage the students of Marshall University to reap the benefits of this opportunity."

For more information about the MPH program, contact Pewen at pewen@marshall.edu.

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