Public health is a dynamic, multidisciplinary field whose mission is to improve health and prevent diseases in populations. It shows us the big picture in health care, from individual health care providers to our own everyday decisions that affect our health to local, national and international issues that affect all of our health. A well-trained public health professional incorporates many disciplines, such as microbiology, genetics, medicine, business, social work, political science, sociology, management, marketing, communications, statistics, and psychology, to solve complex health problems. Public health practitioners are at the forefront in the battle against disease, whether it is avian flu, cancer, diabetes, environmental toxins, HIV/AIDS, obesity, safety in the workplace, foodborne illnesses, or a number of other newly emerging threats to health. More than any other field, public health is the most effective method to assure a healthy and vibrant population.
Westminster Master of Public Health
The Westminster Master of Public Health (MPH), housed within the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, emphasize the essentials for public health practice in the 21st century. The program lays the foundation that is required to be an effective member of the public health workforce. Graduates are prepared to promote and protect public health and safety through education, service, and the application of evidence-based science. Two options are available. The MPH degree and a CPH are taught in an executive format: core courses will be offered every two weeks on a Friday and Saturday throughout the semester, and some faculty-designated courses are offered online. For the public health professional, the MPH degree is recognized internationally.
The program is made possible through a very generous donation to the School of Nursing and Health Sciences by philanthropist The Very Reverend Fredrick "Rick" Quinney Lawson. Rev. Lawson has been a long-time supporter of Westminster. He was integrally involved in the creation of the Emma Eccles Jones Center for Nursing and Heath Sciences, which was funded by his great aunt, Emma Eccles Jones’ Foundation. As a reverend at St. Marks Cathedral in Salt Lake, Rev. Lawson is uniquely tied to the college since Westminster’s nursing program conducts their annual pinning ceremony there. In 2003, he was presented an honorary degree from the college for his genuine concern for the community.
The graduate of the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program will be prepared to:
- Use analytical and evidence-based methods to analyze data and monitor the health status of a community
- Investigate and identify health problems and health hazards in the community
- Inform, educate, and empower community members about health issues
- Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems
- Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
- Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety
- Use referral processes to assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable
- Discuss the aspects of a competent public health and personal health care workforce
- Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services
- Apply research principles and processes in the exploration of innovative solutions to health problems
Careers in Public Health
Public health graduates work at the Centers for Disease Control, Utah Department of Health, Intermountain Healthcare, the World Health Organization, Salt Lake Valley Health Department, the University of Utah, Myriad Genetics, ARUP, Pfizer, the American Red Cross, and many other health-related organizations. They investigate outbreaks of food-borne diseases, manage large health-related organizations, educate children on health lifestyles, market anti-smoking messages to the public, monitor outbreaks of cryptosporidium in swimming pools, lobby the legislature on health-related issues, research environmental toxins and cancer, inspect restaurants for proper hygiene, and assure a healthy and safe environment for factory workers. Public health is a challenging and ever-changing field, where creativity combined with analytic skills are needed to make sense of the sometimes complex relationships between various factors that affect your health.
The program is offered in an executive format, so that classes are scheduled and designed to meet the needs of busy professionals. Classes are offered on weekends and evenings, as well as in online and distance learning formats.
The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, designed for working healthcare professionals, attracts individuals with a commitment to acquire the knowledge and skills that will help them advance to leadership positions. Students come from a variety of careers such as health departments, hospitals, integrated health delivery systems, HMOs, group practices, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. MPH students learn leadership and practical skills that help them apply their knowledge and expertise to situations that range from social issues to highly technical problems. The Capstone Research Project enables students to be innovative and analytical regarding a selected local, national, or global public health issue.
This school offers programs in: