UTHealth School of Public Health ranked among academic programs shaping public health workforce

UTHealth School of Public Health ranked among academic programs shaping public health workforce

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health is one of the top universities in the nation responsible for training the bulk of today’s public health academic leaders, according to a recently released independent analysis.

The study, issued by the global executive recruiting firm Harris Search Associates, explored the educational backgrounds of the more than 570 administrators who make up the senior leadership of the 122 colleges, schools, and programs that confer internationally recognized degrees in public health. More than half of those leaders (55%) were trained at 24 schools of public health. UTHealth School of Public Health tied for 13 on the list with the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and Yale University.

Others universities on the list include Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan, the University of California-Berkeley and Texas A&M University.

The study’s findings are a “testament to the handful of colleges and universities that made the decision decades ago to make public health a priority – and to make the commensurate investment in faculty, facilities and programming,” says Jeffrey G. Harris, founder and managing partner of Harris Search Associates.

He cited instructional prowess, reputational drawing power and longevity for the “outsized influence” of the schools topping the list.

“The unique racial, geographic, and economic diversity of Texas provides our students the opportunity to explore a wide range of public health areas, and work with many different populations. Our students leave with experiences that prepare them to work almost anywhere in the US or abroad.” says Susan Totolero Emery, PhD, a graduate of UTHealth School of Public Health and senior associate dean for academic and research affairs.

When UTHealth School of Public Health opened its doors in 1969, it was one of just a few schools in the nation providing graduate-level education to students interested in public health. Over the years, the school has grown into a leading center for public health education in Texas, graduating more than 7,500 students addressing public health issues in the United States and abroad.

Today, many UTHealth School of Public Health graduates have gone on to serve in leadership positions at their alma mater, including Christine Markham, PhD, chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, Trudy Millard Krause, DrPH, and Cecelia Ganduglia Cazaban, MD, DrPH, co-directors of the Center for Healthcare Data, Belinda Reininger, DrPH, Brownsville Regional Dean, and Kimberly Baker, DrPH, director of public health practice, among others.

Beyond the school, the impact of alumni reaches across the state and nation. Graduates who are senior academic administrators include Kathy B. Baumgartner, PhD, associate dean for academic and faculty affairs for the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences; Kathryn Cardarelli, PhD, assistant provost for faculty advancement at the University of Kentucky, Maria E. Ferris, MD, PhD, director of the University of North Carolina Transition Program; María Elena Martínez, PhD, associate director of population science, disparities and community engagement at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health and Norma A. Pérez, DrPH, director of special programs for the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine, to name just a few.

In addition, many graduates of UTHealth School of Public Health oversee environmental health and safety programs across Texas and the nation including Scott Patlovich, DrPH, of UTHealth; Bruce Brown, DrPH, of UT Southwestern Medical Center; Mike Charlton, PhD, of UT Health San Antonio; Matthew Berkheiser, DrPH, of MD Anderson Cancer Center; Richard Costello, of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; and Jennifer Laine, DrPH, of University of Miami.

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