The University of Evansville has announced a new Institute for Public Health, which will facilitate partnerships that provide hands-on experiences to students while addressing community needs in the area of public health.
The mission of the institute is to “cultivate multidisciplinary partnerships among faculty, students, and community members in ways that support the planning and development of evidence-based programs and sound policy.”
“The community is where we work,” said William McConnell, PhD, JD, MPH, director of the Institute for Public Health at UE. “The institute will provide UE students and faculty a platform to come together with the community to solve real public health issues.”
The institute’s first major project has been leading and collaborating with 11 hospital systems around the state of Indiana to conduct a 39-county Community Health Needs Assessment. Projects like this not only connect the University with communities and leaders in health but also provide a range of opportunities for student and faculty collaboration and research.
In addition to serving area needs, McConnell says this is a great opportunity for collaboration across the university and community.
“The Institute for Public Health will be genuinely interdisciplinary, involving students and faculty members from across the institution,” McConnell said. “It is an area that intersects with many of our disciplines – sociology, political science, management, marketing, data science, civil engineering, ethics and social change, and all of our health fields, just to name a few.”
“The services offered by the Institute for Public Health are a great addition to the already remarkable collaborative efforts happening at the downtown health science center,” said UE president Tom Kazee. “UE’s physician assistant and physical therapy programs will be located at the downtown facility, offering numerous opportunities for the institute’s involvement in interprofessional education and collaboration.”