Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health

Welcome from the chair!

In 2016, the students, staff, and faculty in the Department of Health Promotion Social and Behavioral Health created a new mission to promote and sustain health for all groups by integrating community-engaged public health research, exceptional training of public health leaders, and evidence-based outreach.

This is one of the great things about our department—we are mission driven to improve the health of the communities we serve, with a strong emphasis on achieving health equity. We focus on strategies that can be taken to scale and improve and sustain health, especially in sub-groups of the population that experience health disparities—whether due to geographic, racial, ethnic, or economic factors.

We have some process steps to achieve our mission—doing community-engaged public health research, training current and future public health leaders in methods to achieve, measure, and report on closing and eventually eliminating health disparities, and by conducting evidence-based outreach.

Faculty and students in our department have completed research and service learning experiences that support community infrastructure, partnerships, and capacity—and these activities set the stage for local policy changes that were enacted to improve the sexual health and education of children in our communities. We have other examples related to physical activity, dietary intake, substance abuse, tobacco prevention and cessation, chronic disease prevention and self-management, and more.

We focus our teaching on pragmatic issues that train future public health leaders to identify and use evidence-based approaches to promote health and where no evidence exists we train our students to create new evidence through rigorous planning and evaluation.  Our faculty and students integrate teaching, outreach, and research activities so that we can understand the impact of our courses, community work, and contributions to science. We also balance experiential service learning opportunities, in-person lectures, discussion, and debate, with online services and technologies to make the content and experiences more accessible.

Our department conducts research that is practical and informed by partnerships with schools, federally qualified health centers, departments of public health, healthcare, and community organizations. Our goal isn’t scientific introspection, it is measureable, research-facilitated improvements in public health.

Welcome to our department and let’s work together for sustained and equitable health!

Paul Estabrooks, PhD
Harold M. Maurer Distinguished Chair,
Department of Health Promotions, Social & Behavioral Health
UNMC | College of Public Health