2014 marks the first full calendar year as the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), which officially launched on August 1, 2013. ASPPH represents schools and programs of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). To date, ASPPH has 99 members.
First Solo ASPPH Annual Meeting
During the March 2014 board of directors meeting, it was decided that the ASPPH Annual Meeting will move from being held in November alongside APHA to a solo meeting in March. The 2015 ASPPH Annual Meeting is March 22-25, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA. The theme of the meeting is Framing the Future: A New Paradigm for Academic Public Health.The meeting includes plenary sessions, skill-building workshops, and opportunities for information sharing and networking. Attendees will engage with thought leaders, reflect on the exciting new future for academic public health, and gain skills to implement change locally and globally. For more information, view the event listing.
SOPHAS, our centralized application service, has continued its remarkable growth. Twelve additional members joined SOPHAS this year, which brings the number of participating institutions to 79. SOPHAS continues to evolve in response to the needs our participating schools and programs – all members are welcome to participate in bi-monthly planning calls and semi-annual strategic planning meetings. Members which are interested in learning more about SOPHAS should contact Ms. Allison Foster, ASPPH deputy executive director at email@example.com
Student recruitment continued to be a priority over the past year. Initiatives include increasing partnerships, exhibiting at national conferences, supporting virtual recruitment fairs, and developing new marketing materials. As well, ASPPH developed and implemented stand-alone recruitment fairs in five cities with over 800 prospective students in attendance. Forty member institutions participated in at least one fair with 20 participating in two or more. ASPPH will continue to increase recruitment efforts for our schools and programs in 2015.
Framing the Future
The Framing the Future: The Second Hundred Years of Education for Public Health Task Force (members listed here) continues make progress towards updating the Welch-Rose Report by the beginning of 2015, in advance of the centennial of the report. This year the FTF, thanks to the leadership of the chair and its various members:
A rich collaboration with colleagues who head up the other five national health profession associations that established the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC), continues to promote interprofessional education (IPE) on both national and local levels. The decision to create IPEC rose in response to the need for a national coordinating body to foster collaborative, interprofessional education.
This year the collaborative:
The NBPHE has made a number of exciting changes this year.
ASPPH has collected annual data from member institutions since 1974, making 2014 the fortieth anniversary of the ASPPH Data Center. During this anniversary year, the Center re-launched the online ASPPH Data Center to expand data collection to both member Schools and Programs of Public Health and introduce the analytics portal that allows members to analyze annual data reports using interactive data visualizations and dashboards. In addition, a public gallery was created that enables members and non-members alike to view and interact with ASPPH-led research. Visit the ASPPH Data Center Public Gallery to learn more about our recent research, “Characterizing the Growth of the Undergraduate Public Health Major: U.S., 1992-2012”, which was published online ahead of print in Public Health Reports. This research, as well as research on the growth of graduate public health degrees, was presented during a poster session at the Academic Public Health Caucus, which is held in conjunction with the APHA Annual Meeting.
ASPPH Faculty Awards
Dr. Sarah Bauerle Bass, associate professor, Temple University College of Public Health, was selected as the 2014 recipient of the Riegelman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education and was recognized during the fourth annual Summit on Undergraduate Public Health Education held in New Orleans in November. ASPPH looks forward to its continued partnership with Dr. Richard Riegelman and Mrs. Linda Riegelman, whose generosity makes this award possible. To learn more about the 2014 recipient and the presentation of the Riegelman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, click here.
Thanks to its collaboration with Pfizer, Inc., ASPPH is pleased to offer the ASPPH/Pfizer Faculty Awards for the 2014/2015 award season. These awards recognize extraordinary faculty for their service and achievements in teaching, research, and practice from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. Nominations were accepted during November and December and will be conferred at the ASPPH Annual Meeting in March 2015.
Additionally, in March 2015 ASPPH will present two new awards: the ASPPH Welch-Rose Award for Distinguished Service to Academic Public Health to honor those who have made a lasting impact on academic public health; and the ASPPH Award for Excellence in Student Services Award to recognize an individual who has been integral in student services programming, admissions, or student recruitment. The Student Service Award nominations closed December 17, and nominations are being accepted for the Welch-Rose award until January 7, 2015. To find out more about all the faculty awards please click here or contact Ms. Emily Rodgers, ASPPH meetings coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of luck to all of the 2014/2015 award recipients and nominees!
Undergraduate Education in Public Health
Public health is the ninth fastest-growing midsize undergraduate major (See the infographic), with the number of institutions granting public health degrees nearly quadrupling since 1992 (See where they are). In August 2014 ASPPH convened a meeting with representatives of five ASPPH member institutions and seven applicants for CEPH-accreditation as stand-alone baccalaureate programs. The meeting was designed to learn more about the undergraduate programs, including their motivations to pursue CEPH accreditation and their challenges. Many opportunities for meaningful collaboration were identified. ASPPH plans to form a task force to explore these issues further and will host a meeting in early 2015 to discuss credentialing at the undergraduate level.
The fourth annual Undergraduate Education for Public Health Summit, co-sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and ASPPH, took place in November in New Orleans, LA. Approximately 175 participants representing over 100 schools, programs, and organizations, attended workshops, oral presentation sessions, poster presentations, and a keynote session moderated by Donna Petersen, ScD, MHS, CPH, Dean, University of South Florida College of Public Health. Much enthusiasm was expressed regarding the theme, “Leading and Developing Successful Undergraduate Public Health Programs,” and the opportunities to network with others engaged in undergraduate education for public health.
ASPPH and the de Beaumont Foundation released a report in conjunction with the fourth annual Undergraduate Education for Public Health Summit which can be read online at Public Health Reports. The article, “Characterizing the growth of the undergraduate public health major, 1992-2012” examines the growth trends in undergraduate public health education over the past two decades.
Please contact Ms. Sarah Weiner, ASPPH program manager, at email@example.com with any questions regarding the Summit or other undergraduate education public health initiatives.
Public Health Practice
ASPPH continues to look for opportunities to highlight the contributions of academic public health and practice. This included convening the associate deans and designated leads for public health practice at the ASPPH Sections’ Retreat in June. At that meeting, participants discussed issues related to academic public health and public health practice, including student practica placements, workforce development, and interprofessional/interdisciplinary education. In addition, ASPPH was involved in the HRSA-funded Public Health Training Centers (PHTC) program until September, and although the program has ended, we will continue to advocate for programs that are designed to support and strengthen the public health workforce. To that end, we once again sponsored the Academic Public Health Caucus at the 2014 American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting which provided a forum for APHA members to learn about innovations in academic and practice collaborations. Finally, ASPPH, supported through our cooperative agreement with the CDC, completed a project looking at student practicum placements at governmental public health agencies, specifically looking at where students are placed, contributions of students, and facilitating factors and barriers to student placement at governmental public health agencies. The results of this project will be available in early 2015.
Public Health Preparedness
ASPPH was engaged in many activities this past year with the CDC-funded Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLC) and Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Centers (PERRC). As part of the 2014 Public Health Preparedness Summit, we hosted a town hall focusing on the importance of translating of research into practice. Representatives from both the PERLC and PERRC, along with a community partner from each, participated as panelists. The town hall was well received, and a town hall for the 2015 Summit is already in progress. In addition, the PERLC and PERRC programs each released a journal supplement earlier this year. The PERLC journal supplement, published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, highlights examples of the PERLCs’ work toward improving both the quality of and capacity for public health preparedness training and evaluation for the frontline public health workforce. The PERRC journal supplement in Public Health Reports presents practical examples of the work conducted by the PERRCs, demonstrating the value of public health research that collectively advances the thinking and understanding of how to improve the nation’s public health system’s preparedness for and response to disasters. ASPPH also highlighted the work of the preparedness centers throughout the year. Two PERLC webinars titled “Improving Systems that Serve Vulnerable Populations Before, During and After Disasters” and “Using Peer Assessment and Root Cause Analysis to Assess and Improve Health System Emergency Response” were hosted by ASPPH and preparedness activities were featured through various ASPPH channels such as the Friday Letter.
Preparing the Public Health Workforce with Graduate Training Programs
ASPPH continues to work with federal partners to provide mentored training experiences for our member’s public health graduate students and alumni, which will help prepare them for careers in governmental public health practice. This year, we offered four different opportunities: ASPPH/NHTSA Public Health Fellowships, ASPPH/EPA Environmental Health Fellowships,ASPPH/CDC Allan Rosenfield Global Health Fellowships, and ASPPH/CDC Public Health Fellowships. During the 2014 application cycle, 422 students and recent graduates from members applied for these highly-competitive programs. ASPPH placed 63 newly selected trainees in top public health organizations around the world. Their assignments include the headquarters of three federal agencies (CDC, EPA, and NHTSA) and ten countries (Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, and Zambia). There are currently a total of 99 ASPPH graduates who are actively engaged in practice-based training assignments with ASPPH partner agencies and organizations. In these assignments, the fellows help deliver quality public health services to improve population health. ASPPH continues to foster connections and provide opportunities with these fellows, even after their time in the graduate training programs ends, through the ASPPH GTP Alumni networking group on LinkedIn. We look forward to continued efforts to foster the development of early-career public health professionals in the coming years.
Federal Funding Continues as Top Priority for ASPPH Policy and Advocacy Team
The legislative branch gridlock on the federal budget was finally broken during the Lame Duck session which ended on December 16. That same day, President Obama signed into law the omnibus fiscal year 2015 appropriations bill to fund most of the federal government until September 30, 2015.
ASPPH’s legislative priorities were established by the Association’s Legislative Committee led by Dr. Steve Wyatt (until July 1) and subsequently by Dr. Gary Raskob. The priorities were shared with Congress during a “Legislative Fly-In” in March and in member and staff discussions with legislators and their staff throughout the year.
In addition to the funding levels for the major research agencies, ASPPH’s advocacy agenda focused on specific programs within CDC and HRSA. The National Institutes of Health received an appropriation of $30.084 billion, an increase of $149.696 million or +0.5 percent. Program level funding at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was set at $6.926 billion, an increase of $21.443 million or +0.31 percent.
All of ASPPH’s priorities were funded in FY 2015. These programs are:
The HRSA Public Health Training Centers and Public Health Traineeships appear to be level-funded, with the two budget lines combined under the heading Public Health Workforce Development, which is funded at $22 million, but has $10 million in set-asides – leaving $12 million for the PHTC and PHT programs.
Before adjourning, Congress also approved a total of $5.3 billion in Ebola emergency spending, of which $2.742 billion will go to HHS agencies and $1.771 billion to the CDC. ASPPH submitted testimony to Congress on the Ebola spending measure, endorsing the Administration’s initial funding request and identifying possible initiatives that the faculty at schools and programs of public health could undertake to help federal, state and local agencies, along with affected countries and communities, to address the Ebola crisis.
Last summer, ASPPH hired a digital strategy firm, Atlantic Media Strategies, to help lead the organization into a new “digital future”. This June, we launched the new ASPPH.org! We have reimagined the content, design, and overall experience to better serve today’s public health students, educators, and practitioners. We hope to better demonstrate the value of public health education and CEPH-accreditation through highly visual storytelling, compelling resources, ongoing knowledge sharing, and utility content and tools. We hope you will find the new ASPPH.org to be a valuable resource that empowers visitors to engage with the public health field.
During the fall, ASPPH developed a new password protected virtual workgroup site, Online Community, which is currently in quality assurance testing. With enhanced features and user experience, Online Community will serve as a platform for individuals to connect, communicate, collaborate, and share documents pertaining to a specific topic. Stay tuned for the public launch in early 2015.