Visit by New York Commissioner of Health Marks MPH Program Launch

Marking a milestone in public health education, New York State Commissioner of Health Nirav R. Shah joined with New York University faculty, students, alumni, staff, and senior officials in celebrating the creation of the NYU Master of Public Health Program.

“It’s a great honor and pleasure to be here this morning – congratulations on the launch of your newly reconfigured Master of Public Health Program,” Shah declared at NYU Kimmel Center on April 6. “This new public health master’s program will raise the bar for public health education in New York and the nation. I applaud your program’s mission to improve the health of diverse populations at the local, national, and global level.”

The program brings together the long-established Community Public Health Program at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and the five-year-old NYU Master’s Program in Global Public Health. It is a collaboration of NYU’s College of Dentistry, College of Nursing, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, School of Medicine, Silver School of Social Work, and the Steinhardt School, and is led by the NYU Executive Vice President for Health Robert Berne.

Berne said the program has been redesigned to better reflect the ever-changing challenges of public health in an increasingly globalized society, and the “interdisciplinary and inter-professional nature” of what is required to promote health, prevent illness, and fight disease.

“This will benefit everyone, encouraging our students to really use the University as a resource, our faculty to collaborate across University schools and disciplines, and will prepare professionals not bounded by the kinds of lines that academics tend to draw,” he said.

Beth Weitzman, acting dean of the Steinhardt School, introduced Dr. Shah (MD, MPH), who was confirmed by the State Senate on January 24, 2011. He is the 15th state health commissioner, and the youngest person ever to hold the post. In visiting NYU during National Public Health Week (April 4-10), he described his efforts to counteract smoking, over-eating, and other risk behaviors associated with chronic illness, such as Type-2 diabetes and heart disease. He noted that he worked as an assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine and was a National Research Service Award Fellow at the University.

The public health field is “where the action is. Our 21st-century public health challenges are increasingly complex and multi- dimensional. The collaborative nature of this program will enable you to be in the forefront of addressing these changes,” said Commissioner Shaw.

For more information, visit the NYU MPH Program online.

(Photo: Robert Berne, Nirav R. Shah, Beth Weitzman; credit: NYU Photo Bureau)