UM is Founding Member of Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

The Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences has signed on as a founding member of the new national Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH).

Launched August 1, the association, a successor to the Association of Schools of Public Health, will connect public health schools and programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), which oversees a rigorous peer-review process designed to assure quality education and training.

“We are delighted to be a founding member of the new Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health,” said José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and Chair of Public Health Sciences. “By joining forces, all the accredited programs across the country will more effectively advocate for the health of our communities, which is particularly important for Miami-Dade, where more than 700,000 are uninsured and a highly culturally and racially diverse population suffers from a greater burden of disease than mainstream populations.”

The move to bring schools and programs under one umbrella has been embraced by both CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. To date, more than a third of the 101 CEPH-accredited public health programs have become founding members of the ASPPH.

“This is a seminal moment in CEPH-accredited public health education,” said Harrison Spencer, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO of the ASPPH. “Representing both accredited schools and programs of public health gives the association and our members an opportunity to strengthen public health education, research, teaching, and practice.”

The decision to create a new association came after a two-year campaign that included focus groups and in-depth conversations with representatives from both schools and programs across the nation.

Benefits of becoming an ASPPH member include one voice for accredited public health education, the centralized application service, a strong representation on policy and advocacy, and data resources.

“While access to healthcare is a challenge for many in our community, the health of the public in Miami-Dade also is affected by many other factors, such as education, employment, income, housing, community violence, and the lack of walkability of many of our communities, which contributes to weight gain and the isolation of families,” Szapocznik said.

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