Dean’s Update | October 15, 2021 – College of Human Medicine

Friends,

Accreditation is one of the main projects of educational programs. It’s always a lot of work, and it takes a special team to bring in the energy and enthusiasm to successfully accreditation a program. Our Master of Public Health (MPH) program has this team. A week ago, the last of the hardware updates was sent to the Public Health Education Council (CEPH). And, on November 11 and 12, the CEPH will be visiting the MPH site at its headquarters in Flint.

Getting the MPH through the CEPH accreditation system has been a long-standing goal for the college. It has not been easy, which is a testament to the quality of leadership from Director Wayne McCullough and the excellent accreditation team he has assembled. Kudos to Connie Currier for her great job on this project – if anyone has walked through the program in its history, it’s Connie! (Photo above left: Wayne McCullough, Connie Currier and Lynne Lievens.)

I have done a lot of accreditation work in my career, and I have the utmost respect for the faculty and staff at MPH as they brought us to the finish line. In fact, people who do accreditation work are careful not to refer to a site visit as a finish line. There is still work to be done after the visit, and national accreditation has evolved into a model of continuous process improvement. That said, the site visit on November 11 and 12 is a big step on the way.

The past two years have been remarkable for the MPH. As an example, admissions have increased from around 30 in 2020 to 80 so far in 2021. This may be due in part to the impact of COVID-19, or to students choosing the program due to the accreditation, or the overall work of the Division of Public. Health. In any case, the program has a good number of 164 students enrolled on the path to their Masters in Public Health.

All students who graduated after the program entered the final path for CEPH accreditation in 2019 count as graduates of an accredited MPH and also share crossing the finish line.

The pandemic has demonstrated the extent to which public health is interconnected with law, community life, medicine, communication, the media and… politics. To help prepare MPH students and explain the place of public health in our state, MPH professor Robey Champine, PhD, and John Clements, PhD, have created MPH pandemic courses. HM 862: Global pandemics and public health systems, laws and community impacts is an elective course for undergraduates, MPH students, and graduate students on our public health system and COVID-19. A free course accessible to the public, Promoting public health in Michigan in the face of COVID-19, has helped 230 members of the public learn more about COVID-19 and community health in Michigan.

Very soon, the MSU-Henry Ford (HFH + MSU Health Sciences) partnership is entering a new phase as Henry Ford researchers begin the MSU process to formally apply for faculty positions. People like Kathy Huber at Henry Ford and Barbara Forney at MSU have done a great job in revising our faculty forms and processes to be clear and useful to the more than 100 Henry Ford researchers who come into the ranks of the faculty. To be clear, the ministry’s approval process is unchanged, but people have tried to help eliminate the paperwork. Once the researchers have completed the process, we’ll move on to clinicians and other educators. This is an exciting step that will further integrate institutions and extend the impact of MSU.

Serve people with you,

Aron

Aron Sousa, MD
Acting Dean


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