Historically, the field of public health has focused on preventing the spread of contagious diseases among population groups through a variety of means including health education, medical intervention and water quality control. Today’s public health policy makers, researchers and practitioners confront a daunting array of challenges to the health of various population groups at home and abroad and their environments. Public health research is shaping policy debates over disease prevention, health care reform and climate change.
The Public Health Major
This multidisciplinary program encompasses the biomedical sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. Our curriculum enables majors to examine public health problems from a number of different disciplinary perspectives. The major offers a population-level approach to solving health problems with a strong focus on scientific, social and ethical principles. Public health majors through their research projects and coursework acquire the methodological skills needed to assess the prevalence and incidence of illnesses, disorders and disabilities in specific population groups. Public Health majors develop a mastery of health care policy issues and an in-depth understanding of the many public health programs administered by federal, state and local government and international agencies. Upon graduation, they are prepared to do epidemiological research or participate in health policy making and program implementation.
Public Health in Action
George Van Orden is a member of the Public Health faculty. He was the Health Officer of the Regional Health Department of Hanover Township from 1981-2015. One of his most acclaimed successes during his tenure was spearheading the cleanup of the Whippany River. In 2014, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Glenn Silber and Emmy Award Winner Peter Coyote collaborated on a documentary River’s Journey which chronicles Van Orden’s remarkable accomplishment.