The name of our school is a clear indicator that we are a distinctive school of public health. Public health is more than restaurant inspections, flu shots and managing health departments. It is identifying emerging health threats and risks, monitoring health factors and status, understanding how people seek and respond to health information and preparing responses to events that can affect the public's health.

While we embrace the traditional tasks and roles of public health specialists, we recognize that protecting the public's health today requires much more. It requires a new approach that integrates how information about the public's health is acquired, evaluated, acted on and disseminated, and how these affect the public and its health.  It requires preparing our students for careers in the 21st century by using 21st century knowledge and techniques.

Our History

In 1998, UofL established the Institute for Public Health Research to focus efforts on training the next generation of clinical researchers. The institute had a five-year NIH Clinical Research Curriculum (K30) Award and offered MSPH and PhD degrees in both Epidemiology–Clinical Investigation Sciences and Biostatistics–Decision Sciences. The School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS) was established in 2002 and remains the newest school at the university. SPHIS obtained initial CEPH accreditation in 2007. In 2012, Richard Clover, M.D., announced his decision to step down as SPHIS dean after founding the school and leading it for 10 years. The university conducted a national search and named Craig H. Blakely, PhD, MPH, as Dean in April 2013. The school experienced a period of sustained growth under the direction of Dr. Blakely until his retirement in 2023, which largely focused on building a strong health policy focus, forming a more robust and focused research engine, growing student enrollment in undergraduate and graduate programs, and becoming visibly engaged in West Louisville. In April 2024, the School of Public Health and Information Sciences welcomed Kathryn Cardarelli, PhD, MPH, as the school's third dean.

Did you know? The original School of Public Health at University of Louisville was open from 1919-1923, making it one of the nation’s first public health schools. Read more.

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