Posts tagged ‘public health’

Inaugural event seeks to connect the public with public health concerns and training opportunities

What is the best way to prevent food borne illness? How effective is hospice care? What factors influence hookah use in college students? And, is raw milk safe?

These are the type of questions that public health scientists work to answer each day. Unlike other health professionals, their focus is on prevention, rather than treatment of conditions.

Public_Health_Symposium_05-09-2014_014As the national healthcare climate begins to shift from a reactive to proactive focus – working to reduce costs and improve outcomes for those with chronic diseases through behavior management and education – the field of public health is exploding.

As Penn State Hershey’s new Master of Public Health (MPH) program celebrated the recent graduation of its second cohort of students this spring, it organized a Public Health Day Symposium at the Civil War Museum in Harrisburg to bring together nearly 100 students, faculty, government employees, policy makers and community public health practitioners.

Farrah Kauffman, deputy director of the program, said the department organized the inaugural event “to expose students to professionals in the field, and to provide them with a chance to hear about the latest and greatest of what is happening now — as well as some networking opportunities.”

Vernon Chinchilli, chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State Hershey, said the MPH program, which began in 2011, expects to become fully accredited this June. The two-year, full-time program, designed for working professionals with evening classes, will be joined by a doctorate program, possibly as soon as fall 2015.

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July 22, 2014 at 8:37 am Leave a comment

Collaborating to make central Pennsylvania healthier

Community Health Needs Assessment Report - September 2012A new report evaluates the state of healthcare in central Pennsylvania – and lays the groundwork for efforts to make the region’s residents healthier. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center collaborated on the community health needs assessment with Holy Spirit Health System and PinnacleHealth System.

The assessment was compiled using interviews, surveys, data analysis and other methodologies. It was conducted by Tripp Umbach, a national leader in conducting health studies and assessments. Penn State Hershey, Holy Spirit and PinnacleHealth will now use the information gathered to develop individual plans to best address their community’s health needs and improve the overall health and well-being of residents of Central Pennsylvania. The findings show that there is a need for additional information and services that promote healthy lifestyles and make health education and healthcare easier to access.

Read more about the community health needs assessment:  Executive summary | Full report

September 11, 2012 at 8:13 am Leave a comment

New education programs aim to better prepare students

Group of Penn State College of Medicine studentsIn its usual tradition of education innovation, the Penn State College of Medicine has recently introduced a number of new or reconfigured programs. From dual-degree programs to an exciting new Physician Assistant Program, the College of Medicine is realigning its curriculum to better prepare future physicians, nurses, and researchers for the changing landscape of the biomedical research enterprise, and the health care arena where new discoveries are applied.

The new interdisciplinary graduate program, Biomedical Sciences (BMS), is a departure from the traditional graduate programs. “Up to a year ago, our graduate programs aligned with their basic science departments. We determined that this structure wasn’t meeting how we needed to train our students for the future,” says Michael F. Verderame, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate studies, professor of medicine, and director, Medical Student Research Project. “Students can build their own curriculum to address the work that they want to do.”  The first class of students just completed their second semester in May.

Many of the new programs build on the tremendous strengths that Penn State has to offer to its students. One of those areas is its Department of Public Health Sciences, where faculty has been working for several years in developing the new Master of Public Health program. The first class included thirteen students. “The fact that we’re training the future generation to participate in the improvement of health in our nation is an important contribution,” says Verderame. Also in this department is a new Ph.D. program in biostatistics. That program targets a smaller number of students, who are expected to start with the next academic year. (more…)

August 7, 2012 at 10:30 am 1 comment

Today’s Research – Medical center-based farmers markets improve health

Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine are actively working in Hershey, with colleagues at Penn State, University Park and other Penn State campuses, and with colleagues at various institutions across the country to conduct groundbreaking research. Their discoveries continue to contribute to the advancement of health care on all levels.

Farmers market illustrationFarmers markets at medical centers may contribute to greater wellness in surrounding communities while adding public health value to a market’s mission, say College of Medicine researchers who have developed and evaluated a market created at the Medical Center.

“Farmers markets are serving public health by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, revitalizing neighborhoods, strengthening local economies, and empowering community members to learn more about the items they buy,” said Daniel George, Ph.D., M.Sc., assistant professor, Department of Humanities.

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July 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm 2 comments


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