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ECU master's of public health program accredited

The master's of public health 2007 graduates
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (June 25, 2007)   —   A national accrediting agency has given its approval to the master's of public health program at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

The Council on Education for Public Health, an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and certain public health programs, awarded a five-year accreditation to the master's degree program.

"This accreditation recognizes that the East Carolina University MPH program meets national criteria for educating public health professionals," said Dr. Phyllis Horns, interim vice chancellor for health sciences at ECU and interim dean of the Brody School of Medicine. "This is a major step forward for our public health program."

CEPH's accreditation procedures require that the program undertake a self-evaluation, submit a self-study document and host a team of qualified peer reviewers who make a site visit to the campus. Preparing for accreditation was a two-year process with faculty and student involvement.

Dr. Lloyd Novick is director of the MPH program. It began in 2003 after a planning effort by an interdisciplinary group of faculty who saw the need for an expanded public health workforce in eastern North Carolina. While the program is part of the medical school, the education is university-wide effort and includes the College of Health and Human Performance, School of Allied Health Sciences and School of Nursing. More than 50 faculty members are associated with the program.

The goal of the program is to develop health professionals to improve health within eastern North Carolina through disease prevention and health promotion with special attention to reducing disparities in rural and underserved areas. The strengths of the program include practice-based teaching, competency-based learning and evidence-based education with emphasis on field placements and communication skills. The curriculum is designed for full or part-time students. All required courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening. A five-year joint medical/MPH degree is available for medical students at the Brody School of Medicine. The MPH program has also received a grant from The Duke Endowment to provide tuition for MPH education for 15 Pitt County Memorial Hospital physicians enrolled in a residency or fellowship.

The program has grown rapidly from its inception and had 70 students in 2006-2007. Approximately 40 students have been admitted for this fall, giving the program a total of 90 students. To date, 51 people have graduated from the program. Many are working in eastern North Carolina at hospitals or health departments.

"Our success in placing graduates in important public health jobs, particularly in eastern North Carolina, is evidence that we are making headway towards our goal of augmenting the public health workforce," Novick said.

Students must complete 45 semester hours, including 24 hours of a core curriculum that includes public health practice, rural public health, biostatistics, epidemiology, health education and research methods. All students must complete an internship.


Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2481