Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Robert Black, Ron Brookmeyer, William Eaton, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Bernard Guyer, Roger McMacken, Noel Rose, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, Jonathan Weiner, James Yager, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Dr. William Brody, Steven Knapp, Martha Hill, Robert Lawrence, Jonathan Links, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Earl Fox, Isabelle Horon, Diane Matuszak, Laura Morlock, Cecile Pickart, Donna Strobino and Hugh Waters; and Ms Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Dean Alfred Sommer convened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 869th meeting on February 27, 2003 were approved.
Remarks by the Dean
Dr. Sommer commented that the University continues to work with representatives in Annapolis to preserve funds from the Sellinger program. He reported that the recent review of the University's animal care and use program was positive. One faculty member and several alumni are involved in medical and humanitarian efforts in the Iraqi war.
He then updated the Advisory Board on several initiatives in the School, including improved marketing for educational programs. He noted some concern over the potential for low enrollments in 2003-04.
Dr. Guyer announced the death of Dr. Donald Cornely, who served as chair of the Department of Maternal and Child Health from 1970 to 1989.
Report of the DrPH Review Committee
Drs. Strobino, Fox, Horon, Matuszak, Morlock, and Waters joined the Advisory Board. Drs. Weiner and Yager also were members of the DrPH Review Committee.
Dr. Strobino, committee chair, commented that the charge of the Review Committee was to evaluate the DrPH program after its 1995 modification. The goal of the 1995 changes was to develop a program to train advanced public health practitioners. The Review Committee met with the director of the DrPH program, with current and former DrPH students, with current and former faculty members of the DrPH academic committee, and with department chairs.
The Review Committee affirmed the importance of an academic program dedicated to advanced professional practice and the scholarship of application, and one that has close ties to the practice community. Dr. Strobino noted that the program's stature requires strengthening, and further commented that the size of the program has decreased in the past year. The Committee felt that two groups of potential DrPH students could be identified: mid-career working professionals and younger students with less experience who are the future leaders.
Dr. Strobino then reviewed the major recommendations of the Report, including: that the DrPH PPM could be more fully implemented; strengthening the leadership and governance of the program; addressing the persistent lack of collaboration between the program and the departments; improving collaboration between the program and public health agencies; improving the visibility of the program; and better educating the faculty to distinguish between the PhD thesis and DrPH dissertation or "culmination". The Review Committee recommended addressing curricular issues that would include more training in management, budget, and policy, assessing how to integrate on-the-job experience, and revising the seminar requirement. A key recommendation is to create a DrPH Executive Committee that will assure a balance and uniformity of requirements across the School, and will oversee and strengthen the dissertation process so that it is scholarly, relevant to public health practice, and retains an analytic component. The model for the DrPH dissertation will need to be flexible.
The Review Committee recommended increased resources to facilitate bringing DrPH students together from different cohorts, and identification of a dedicated DrPH office. The most controversial recommendation is to eliminate the School-wide portion of the comprehensive examination for DrPH students so they don't have to take two comprehensive exams compared to one exam for PhD students.
The Review Committee endorsed development of an explicit and rigorous part-time DrPH program, but stopped short of endorsing an Executive DrPH Program that would entail periodic trips by students to the campus for weekend-only courses. Involvement of the practice community early in the student's experience would be of benefit as they start to think about the culminating project/dissertation. Dr. Matuszak commented that closer ties to the practice community will benefit the DrPH student's experience, and challenged the Advisory Board to consider different models of support for part-time practice faculty.
Dr. Sommer thanked Dr. Strobino and the members of the Review Committee for their thorough report and comprehensive recommendations. Dr. Zeger commented that the DrPH program should be separate from, but closely linked to the MPH program. The Advisory Board discussed the general level of commitment and resources that might be needed to improve the DrPH program.
Several members of the Advisory Board were supportive of the development of an explicit part-time DrPH program, and Dr. Strobino commented that the DrPH Review Committee was supportive of departments proposing such programs. Dr. Morlock reported that the Department of Health Policy and Management has proposed such a program, which is presently under review by the Committee on Academic Standards. This part-time DrPH program is designed to appeal to a regional market of practitioners who have MHS, MPH or MBA degrees. Networks that include program alumni and local employers will be useful to recruit students to support the program. There was consensus among the Advisory Board members that a part-time DrPH Program will fill important needs for the practice community.
After further discussion, a motion was made to accept the report of the DrPH Review Committee, and to thank Dr. Strobino and the Committee for providing many important recommendations to strengthen advanced practice training in the School. The motion was approved by the Advisory Board. Dr. Sommer stated that the report will be the departure point for a number of changes in the program.
Request for a tenure-track position in Population and Family Health Sciences
Dr. Guyer reported on the possible opportunistic recruitment of a faculty member presently at another institution who studies the multiple determinants of disease.
Doctoral Training in Molecular Epidemiology
Dr. Samet circulated a memo to accompany the general program description for doctoral training in molecular epidemiology. The purpose of the proposed program is to provide in-depth training to students in both epidemiology and an appropriate laboratory science. Students will be able to earn the PhD in epidemiology and the MSc degree in a complementary laboratory science, or the PhD in a laboratory science and the MSc in epidemiology. The departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology are involved. The goal is for this integrated program to begin in 2004-05.
Dr. Black questioned how one thesis can serve for two thesis-requiring degree programs, based on the same work. Drs. Samet and Yager noted that this program will be developed in stages, and that the goal is to train students comfortable in both the laboratory and the field. As the program's development progresses, the Advisory Board and Committee on Academic Standards will be involved.
Due to the late hour, the "Report of the MPH Program" was postponed until April. The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
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