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New undergraduate public health degree program to help meet workforce demands

by Julie Heflin, HSC communications and marketing last modified Sep 13, 2013 01:32 PM

UofL's School of Public Health and Information Sciences is addressing a national shortage of trained public health professionals by launching an undergraduate degree program that will offer a Bachelor of Science in public health for students focused on public health practice and a Bachelor of Arts in public health for liberal arts studies.

The degrees will prepare students for jobs in specific sectors of public health, health services and public policy, with career opportunities in policy change, community engagement, global health, maternal and child health, disease surveillance, nonprofit management, health promotion, health care administration, health services research and environmental health.

Graduates might work in colleges and universities; local, state and federal health agencies; consumer-advocacy organizations; consulting firms; health service delivery organizations; and community and international nonprofit organizations. Both degrees will prepare students for advanced degrees in public health, law, medicine, nursing and dentistry.

“Our profession seeks to improve the conditions under which people can be healthy through health promotion, disease prevention and organized efforts that include health care systems and social policy,” said Craig Blakely, dean of the School of Public Health and Information Sciences.

According to the Kentucky Institute of Public Health Practice Enhancement, more than half of the state’s public health workforce lack formal education in the profession’s essential core functions. To underscore the concern, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is calling for additional training opportunities to strengthen public health worker competencies.

On a national scale, the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) estimates a need for 250,000 additional public health workers by 2020.

Learn more about UofL’s new undergraduate public health degrees online or by calling 502-852-3289.

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