One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is a jump in enrollments in public health degree programs and that’s welcome news to Dr. Jan Carney, director of the Master of Public Health program at the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine, who believes the field needs a massive injection of personnel. “We need probably an 80% increase in people working in state and local health departments to have the essentials of public health.” As Vermont’s former Commissioner of Health, Carney knows the challenges public health officials face and brings those insights to Larner’s online-only MPH program, which covers the broad domains of the field from epidemiology to biostatistics to environmental health and also exposes students to the particular health challenges in rural communities. The program also prepares students for perhaps the biggest challenge facing the field: communication of health information in an era of misinformation. To that end, Carney is urging more ascertainment of how different groups of people prefer to receive information and is suggesting a major change in approach. “Maybe we can start to think of public health communication more as a conversation than a one-way information flow.” Join host Michael Carrese for insights from a national force in public health into how education is evolving to prepare public health practitioners for their vital work in challenging times for the profession.
Mentioned in this episode: https://www.uvm.edu/publichealth/