For more than a decade, there has been an increase in the demand for public health workers, and a shrinking public health workforce, exacerbated by pandemic burnout. To meet educational and workforce needs, Georgia Southern University is expanding its offerings in public health at multiple degree levels.
The Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) just launched a fully online Master of Public Health (MPH) with a focus in health informatics. The program is made possible in part through a $1.8 million grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
“We are excited to be able to offer this concentration to our online students,” said Gulzar Shah, Ph.D., JPHCOPH professor and Health Policy and Community Health Department chair. “Health informatics is a rapidly growing field and the grant will provide several graduate assistant opportunities and paid practicums to support students enrolled in this concentration.”
The graduate-level courses will focus on health information systems, data analytics and public health data visualization for evidence-based practices. The classes will be available as elective options for students in the University’s Doctor of Public Health program.
In fall 2023, JPHCOPH will launch a fully online Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) degree with an emphasis in global health, although students will have the option to do an internship close to home.
“We hope that the online BSPH meets the needs of students who cannot attend traditional, in-person undergraduate classes, including those across the country and abroad,” said JPHCOPH Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Nandi Marshall, DrPH.
According to recent survey findings, it’s estimated that 80,000 full-time staff members are needed to fulfill fundamental public health service roles in scientific, government, academic, research and medical settings across the US On a global scale, the numbers far exceed this.
“We know the demand for our programs is high, but today’s students need the flexibility of program modality,” noted JPHCOPH Dean Stuart Tedders, Ph.D. “The quality and investment of our faculty in these online programs is on a par with what we offer in traditional classrooms. Either way you are receiving the same quality education that we are known for.
“Our graduates are making a difference every day improving the health of people in Georgia and around the globe. It is imperative that we continue to respond to the needs of our students to offer excellent accredited programs in public health, in a manner that meets both their needs and our mission to improve health in our communities. That is what we are doing with these new offerings.”
For more information, visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/JPHCOPH.