The Role of COPH

College of Public Health Role

What is the college accomplishing? The college adds new dimensions to UNMC including:

  • Expertise in health promotion and wellness
  • Community health education
  • Specific issues in rural health
  • Health services research on the organization and finance of health care delivery organizations
  • Surveillance methods to detect emerging infectious disease epidemics
  • Analysis of trends in major and chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer, and others
  • Research on the causal factors of major diseases and methods to intervene in those factors
  • Determination of significant environmental hazards
  • Workplace health and safety
  • Food, water, and air safety and quality
  • Accident prevention
  • Education of health care administrators and health system leaders
  • Other major health concerns

The key elements the College provides to accomplish the UNMC triple mission of education, research and outreach are:

Education

The College builds upon the existing master and PhD programs designed to educate specialists to serve the needs of Nebraska’s state and local public health departments (and elsewhere including needs internationally). The College has developed three new PhD programs in environmental health, health services administration and policy, and health promotion. Additionally, specialized programs that meet specific needs in Nebraska will be pursued.

Research

Colleges of Public Health throughout the country heavily emphasize research activity on the determinants and prevention of disease in the population at large. The College adds another dimension to research, based upon population sciences, that has not existed in any major way at UNMC. Major research emphases of the College of Public Health parallels the new doctoral programs:

  • environmental health
  • health services administration
  • health policy analysis
  • behavioral determinants of health

Service and Outreach

The expertise resident in the College of Public Health allows for consultation to the larger community in many areas of concern for the health of the population, such as:

  • Business and industry employee promotion and wellness programs are served by the expertise of the College of Public Health faculty both in terms of design of new programs and evaluation of effectiveness in existing programs
  • Local public health departments benefit from the College’s expertise in epidemiology, rural health, environmental health, and public health administration
  • Hospitals benefit from health services research provided by the College as well as epidemiology of diseases related to hospital procedures and risks
  • Faculty expertise provides analysis of patient outcomes related to hospital and clinic services
  • Analysis of state health policy and legislative initiatives serve to enhance the policy process in Nebraska

The College of Public Health serves as an asset to the state of Nebraska and beyond in all three missions of UNMC, education, research, and outreach. In order to continue to serve the University of Nebraska to fulfill its mission and to serve the state of Nebraska, the College will seek accreditation once prerequisites are in place.