Greetings, from the Institute of Public Health
As Associate Dean for Public Health and Director and Professor of the Institute of Public Health, it gives me great pleasure to recognize the new College name: College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health. With the creation of the Institute of Public Health (IPH), by the 1995 Florida Legislature, IPH has exhibited public health excellence through the work of an outstanding and committed cadre of phenomenal faculty, staff, and alumni – committed to research, service and the training and production of culturally competent public health practitioners (students). This timely name change documents an elevation of the Institute of Public Health to a well-deserved level of prominence. It positions its future elevation to a school of public health.
The Institute of Public Health was created because of grassroots advocacy to address health disparities, particularly in Florida. Initial approval was granted to offer the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, and program implementation began in the Fall of 1997. Four specializations are offered in the MPH Program: Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Health Policy and Management. The first MPH graduating class was conferred on May 1, 1999 – the "Magnificent Seven." The Public Health Program of IPH gained initial accreditation, by the Council on Education for Public Health, in June of 2000, followed by re-accreditation in 2005, 2012, and recently, 2020 with the maximum accreditation tenure possible with each accreditation cycle! In the Fall of 2004, the IPH was approved to offer the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Degree, and the first cohort of doctoral students entered in January of 2005. There are currently two doctoral specializations: Behavioral Science and Health Education and Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The first DrPH student graduated in December of 2008 – the first DrPH graduate to be conferred by a Florida academic institution. In the Fall of 2011, the IPH Public Health Program launched the Online MPH Program in Public Health Practice. The IPH is guided by a stellar 25-membered Community Advisory Committee, which has provided invaluable guidance and feedback on operations since the inception of the IPH. Since the creation of IPH, a longstanding public health student organization, Future Public Health Professionals (FPHP), has provided public health leadership and service to the University and the local community.
The mission of the IPH Public Health Program is “to develop and produce culturally competent public health practitioners and leaders through graduate training, research, and service." Since the graduation of the first seven MPH students (1999), the IPH now has over 450 MPH graduates and, since the first DrPH graduate (2008), the IPH has conferred over 50 doctoral graduates. It is currently the most extensive graduate program in the College.
Notable Distinctions Includes:
- First accredited public health program administratively housed in a College of Pharmacy
- First accredited public health program in North Florida
- First public health program to offer the DrPH degree in the State of Florida (and first graduate)
- First HBCU to offer the full MPH degree online
- First and Only HBCU to lead a state-wide federally funded Public Health Training Center.
- ONLY Florida HBCU Public Health Program to lead a COVID-19 Community Testing Site
The IPH has been at the forefront of COVID-19 testing and education. In addition, the IPH continues with an active health disparities research enterprise. This enterprise focuses on maternal and child health, environmental justice/toxicology, cancer research, and education (e.g., prostate, breast, colorectal), diabetes research and education, public health genomics, health outcomes research, bioinformatics, infectious epidemiology and surveillance, and mental health and first responders.
Our future is bright, and the Program remains committed to rendering graduate training, research, and service through Excellence With Caring!
Cynthia M. Harris, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Director and Professor of the Institute of Public Health