“What do you believe should be the essential elements of a newly designed public health education system in the 21st century United States?”
This is the question kicking off the national conversation on the future of education for public health. The question stems from the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) Education Committee's recent launch of a task force to guide the Framing the Future: The Second Hundred Years of Education for Public Health initiative. Composed of distinguished representatives from practice and academe, the Framing Task Force is chaired by Dean Donna Petersen (South Florida). See a roster of the task force membership here. The task force aims to reconsider the role of education for public health 100 years after the Welch-Rose Report and to set a new vision for education for public health. This vision will be developed through engaged discussion and extensive dialogue with the full range of public health constituencies.
The task force was formed after a series of conversations over several years regarding the changing nature of public health, public health practice and education for public health. From the explosive growth in undergraduate public health education to the emergence of professional doctoral degrees in the health professions; from the call for an educated citizenry in public health by the Institute of Medicine; to the continued desire of a variety of professions, both health and non-health, to integrate public health content in their academic programs; and from a historic commitment to the traditional public health workforce as well as increasing calls for other sectors, including the community at large, to be more familiar with population health concepts, public health has become both a foundational component and an innovative vehicle for education efforts at all levels.
The task force intends to rethink the continuum of education in public health from undergraduate through doctoral levels, from interdisciplinary and interprofessional perspectives and with the needs of the changing workforce ever forefront in our deliberations. We welcome your thoughts, ideas, concerns, and questions, in particular on the task force's two framing documents, per below: