University of Missouri - Columbia.
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Posted 02.01.07


MU to Offer Master of Public Health Degree

COLUMBIA, MO - A public health official could be considered a jack of all trades. Public health officials respond to disease outbreaks, provide safe drinking water, help establish worker safety laws, educate the public about health risks and focus on the health of communities. The University of Missouri-Columbia Graduate School will begin a new Master of Public Health (MPH) program this fall.

A recent report by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials predicts that public health agencies at the national and local levels will find it difficult to retain employees due to an aging population and too few public health graduates. Local health departments are projected to be hardest hit by this public workforce shortage.

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The first class of MU graduate students will be ready to address the public health challenges of Missouri. Students will have the knowledge and skills to design and assess programs to address the state's high rates of obesity, heart disease and cancer and looming national threats, such as pandemic flu. Health officials around the country call attention to crises in the nation's ability to respond to terrorist events, emerging infectious diseases and other public health threats.

"The Master of Public Health is the standard professional degree recognized throughout the world for public health practice," said Kristofer Hagglund, interim director of the program. "Our students will be well qualified to be leaders in tackling some of the most important challenges our state will face in the coming years."

The MPH program at MU will offer students training in the foundational areas of public health including health services administration, environmental health and epidemiology. Students will further focus their studies in one of three critical domains: health policy and administration, health promotion and disease prevention, or veterinary public health. Dual degrees will be available in a number of areas including nursing, veterinary medicine, public affairs and health administration.



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