UNH Department of Health Management & Policy

UNH Launches New Masters in Public Health Program at Manchester Campus

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau

March 4, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- Responding to a growing need in northern New England for an advanced study program in public health, the University of New Hampshire's School of Health and Human Services initiates its new Master of Public Health (MPH) Program this semester.

It was approved by the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees in December 2001, and is offered at the UNH-Manchester campus in the Center for Graduate and Professional Studies.

It is currently the only MPH program in Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont, and the only public university program accessible to health professionals in the area, says John Seavey, Everett Sackett Professor and chair of UNH's Department of Health Management and Policy. The program "fits well with the land grant mission of UNH," he says, as its long-term goal is to improve the quality of public health in the state and region.

"There has been tremendous support for the development of this program from the state and public health organizations," says Seavey. "It was started in response to the N.H. Turning Point Project that was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the K.K. Kellogg Foundation. The planning grant for the project indicated the need for increased professional development for public health in the state."

MPH is a graduate professional degree program geared toward individuals with experience in the health field. Courses, designed for working professionals, generally meet in the evenings on Tuesday and Thursday for eight weeks. In two years, students can complete the program on a part-time basis.

The program provides students with a focus on one of three areas: public health policy and management, public health nursing, and public health ecology. Faculty come from multiple units within the university.

The track in health policy and management is for individuals whose public health interest is on analysis and development of policy, or managing a public health agency. The nursing track is for nurses in community health or infectious disease control in community hospitals who need a broader perspective in terms of the public health field. The public health ecology track focuses on environmental health, and the impact of environmental and occupational forces on health care.

Blackboard, a web-based curriculum support program, allows students web access to course materials. It also provides real-time and asynchronous contact with the instructor and other students in the class.

In addition to classroom work, students engage in field study. This is an opportunity for them to apply the concepts from the MPH program to a work setting.

"Since most of these people will be employed within public health, they might work on a project within their own institution," says Seavey. "This project would be completed under the supervision of a member of the faculty and someone within that particular organization."

Applications for admission to the MPH program and the Graduate Catalog containing detailed descriptions of courses may be obtained from the Center for Professional Studies at UNH-Manchester at 603-641-4313, or visit the Graduate School website at www.gradschool.unh.edu.

For more information on the MPH program, visit the website http://www.unh.edu/hmp, or contact Professor John Seavey at 603- 862- 2733 or by e-mail jws@cisunix.unh.edu.

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