School of Public Health Initiative
Progressing toward an OHSU/PSU School of Public Health
Oregon Health & Science University and Portland State University are working together to collaboratively establish a School of Public Health that builds on the success of the Oregon Master of Public Health (OMPH) program. By leveraging the unique and shared strengths of both universities, we will be poised to meet the evolving public health needs of Oregon and beyond.
Over the next several months, we will be working to pursue "school" accreditation from the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH). Although many details of this collaboration are still underway, we’ve created this page to share information and answer questions about our ongoing progress toward in OHSU/PSU School of Public Health.
Why a School of Public Health?
The OHSU/PSU School of Public Health builds upon our 20-year track record of collaboration in public health programming and takes our missions of teaching, research, and service to the next level. The Oregon Master of Public Health program has been incredibly successful and is now the longest running collaborative accredited M.P.H. program in the country. School accreditation status will allow for seamless operation and will facilitate student access to resources and opportunities across institutional lines.
School of Public Health Vision
Through education, research, and community engagement, the School of Public Health will be a leader in promoting health and eliminating disparities in Oregon and beyond.
School of Public Health Mission
The mission of the School of Public Health is to prepare a public health workforce, create new knowledge, address social determinants, and lead in the implementation of new approaches and policies to improve the health of populations.
School of Public Health Goals
- To create an innovative and collaborative School of Public Health that addresses key issues of health policy and disparities;
- To meet Oregon’s public health workforce needs; and
- To create excellent educational and research opportunities for students and faculty.
The School will strive to implement its vision, mission, and goals by creating a workforce that is competent in community engagement, and a faculty that advances knowledge through appropriate research directed toward its local, international, and special communities. To this end, all educational programs in the School of Public Health will have, at their core, courses that educate all students in the following core competencies. All graduates of the School of Public Health will act ethically and demonstrate cultural competence to:
- Integrate social determinants into public health science, practice and policy;
- Engage with communities to improve population health; and
- Apply public health knowledge and skills to eliminate health disparities.
Elena Andresen, Interim Dean
The Interim Dean, Elena Andresen, Ph.D., F.A.C.E., serves as the academic and administrative leader during this time of critical development for the new school. Dr. Andresen professor of epidemiology in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and director of the CDC-funded Oregon Office on Disability & Health at the Institute on Development and Disability at OHSU. In her role, Dr. Andresen serves as the academic and administrative leader during this time of critical development for the new school. The planning OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is based on the strong collaboration between the two universities and builds on the thriving Oregon Masters of Public Health (OMPH program, which holds Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accreditation. The interim dean reports to the provosts of OHSU and PSU and is expected to serve until accreditation of the new school and/or the successful recruitment of the founding dean. Dr. Andresen retains offices at both PSU Urban Building) and OHSU (Gaines Hall) campuses.
Nancy Goldschmidt, Assistant Dean for Accreditation
Nancy Goldschmidt, Ph.D., serves as the assistant dean for accreditation is the lead accreditation specialist for the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. She reports to the interim dean and works closely with the interim associate dean for academic affairs and other School of Public Health leaders and staff. The assistant dean will also oversee the transition of existing public health programs at OHSU and PSU.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
The associate dean for academic affairs operates as the key leader for faculty, student, and academic program matters, including overall direction of the Oregon Master of Public Health program. The associate dean reports to the interim dean.
Associate Dean for Practice
The associate dean for practice operates as the key leader for the School of Public Health for public health practice, with core responsibility for building and maintaining relationships with external constituents, stakeholders, and partners for the teaching and training, research, practice, workforce/ employer, and service goals of the School of Public Health. He or she reports to the interim dean.
View a list of steering committee members who played a crucial role in developing and implementing a work plan, timeline, as well as an organizational and financial model for the School of Public Health.
History and Timeline
- In 2010, planning began to develop a collaborative School of Public Health that would bring together OHSU’s and PSU’s considerable resources and build on the solid foundation of the 21-year-old Oregon Master of Public Health Program. The commitment to establish a collaborative School of Public Health was shared publicly in the Presidents’ 2010 OSU/PSU Strategic Alliance.
- Since 2010, a steering committee comprised a faculty and administrative representatives from both campuses met regularly to develop the collaborative model and infrastructure for the School of Public Health and to address the extensive requirements for Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) school-level accreditation.
- Activities in the first two years have included institutional and cultural scans, developing project and business plans, implementing new M.P.H. tracks and three Ph.D. programs, and supporting the re-accreditation of the Oregon Master of Public Health (OMPH) program. This past year, seven faculty groups, each focused on a specific content area, addressed issues related to competencies, curriculum, faculty expectations, and research interests.
- In spring 2014, Elena Andresen, Ph.D., F.A.C.E., was appointed interim dean.
- In Spring 2014, the OMPH was reaccredited by CEPH for up to 7 years.
- In 2015, we plan to apply for accreditation and complete a self-study, with a full-scale site visit within two years. A permanent dean will be secured once accredited school status has been achieved.