Public health professionals remain deeply engaged on the COVID-19 front, especially as it stubbornly continues to spread. From national experts representing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to local health departments, counsel on how to beat the pandemic on micro and macro levels is a steady part of the news.
When the pandemic is far behind us, what will these professionals do next? What does their educations qualify them for? Their ongoing role will be exactly … what?
Gwynedd Mercy University (GMercyU) has been in the public health education business for 60 years.
Last autumn, it formalized this course of study by introducing a Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees.
These disciplines will train tomorrow’s community health workers, public health advocates, disease prevention specialists into the future, when COVID-19 will (with hope) become a distant memory.
Dr. Sharla Willis, DrPH, MPH, MA, is the program’s founding director.
“The public health domain is expansive and covers a wide range of fields from community health to policy to administration. All are dedicated to preventing disease and promoting wellness,” she posted online.
Given that history, GMercyU graduates fan out from the Gwynedd Valley campus to change the world in careers that include:
- Health policy advocates, whose reach has been wide enough to enact change from air pollution to seat belt laws.
- Emergency preparedness personnel, who help communities prepare for, survive, and recover from disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires.
- Environmental and occupational health experts, providing for workplace safety in all its forms
- Preventive health champions, recommending best practices diet, exercise, healthy habits, and lifestyle choices.
- Public Health Administrators, who work within governments large and small to enact beneficial change.
The GMercyU Academic Roster
A GMercyU degree not only opens doors in these fields, it also prepares the next generation of healthcare change agents. The university’s graduate-level coursework prepares alumni to confidently address healthcare issues in a social context, fit well within industries from start-up pharma firms to government, tackle research opportunities, or dive into advocacy.
Dr. Wallis is hosting an in-person MPH reception on June 29. In it, she will explain the program in detail. The discussion will also include timely information on how these careers relate to current social and professional calls for equity.
As a particular draw the GMercyU alumnae, a 10 percent tuition grant is being offered to students pursuing a post-graduate degree as a Griffin.
Registration information on the session, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in Assumption Hall, is online.