Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Robert Black, Ron Brookmeyer, William Eaton, Martha Hill, David Holtgrave, Michael Klag, Thomas Louis, Ellen MacKenzie, Roger McMacken, E. William Spannhake, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Steven Knapp, Robert Blum, Marie Diener-West, Lynn Goldman, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Robert Lawrence, Edward Miller, Jonathan Samet, and James Yager.
Guests: Drs. Steven Goodman, Joanne Katz and Sharon Krag; Professor Stephen Teret; and Ms. Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Dean Michael Klag convened the meeting at 3 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 901st Advisory Board meeting of October 27, 2005 were approved.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Klag announced that Dr. Joshua Scharfstein has been appointed by Mayor O'Malley as commissioner of the Baltimore City Health Department. Dr. Sharfstein is knowledgeable about the School and is interested in developing close ties, including providing practicum opportunities for students. Dr. Klag has assembled an "Avian Flu Task Force" in the School that will help coordinate activities and provide information to the public and interested groups. Its initial activity will be to organize a scientific symposium for the School community in January 2006. Dr. Lynn Goldman is heading the Task Force; any faculty interested in participating should contact Dr. Goldman.
Dr. Hill commented on the importance of having a database containing information on faculty mentorship of students supported by training grants and the potential utility of a common database across the divisions. Dr. Klag noted that the School has such a system, and that it will be useful in large applications and applications across divisional boundaries.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Spannhake gave a synopsis of the joint Faculty Senate/Committee of the Whole meeting, where Dean Helm reviewed the preparations for an all-electronic NIH grant submission in 2006-2007 and Drs. Strobino and Holt updated the group on the self study in preparation for the School's reaccreditation.
Master of Public Health Program Update
Dr. Brookmeyer reported that the MPH Executive Board and staff recently held a retreat at which a major topic was the development of a practicum requirement as well as procedures to evaluate students' previous engagement in public health issues. For 2006 admissions, each applicant will be evaluated to assess their practice experience in population health, however this evaluation will not be used as a criterion for admission. Rather, students who do not have this experience will be informed they will need to fulfill a practicum requirement before graduation, and that a variety of options will be made available to them. Dr. Brookmeyer noted that the majority of students are likely to be waived from the practicum requirement, and that other students will be able to tie the practicum to the capstone or to other existing opportunities during their program, such as SOURCE or PHASE. Professor Teret noted interest in starting a "Public Health Law Clinic" which could provide unique hands-on experience in health policy and legislation.
The MPH program will gain initial experience with the practicum during 2006-2007 and will then make revisions accordingly. Dr. Brookmeyer noted the interest by most students in gaining "hands-on" experience and that a practicum is likely to be welcomed by the students as long as it is consistent with their career goals. Dr. Klag suggested that a two year MPH program for students who do not have health related experience be considered, however this concept would need to be carefully thought out as it relates to existing MHS programs. Hopkins undergraduate Public Health majors may be another potential target audience.
MHS in International Health/PhD in History of Medicine Concurrent Program
Dr. Katz joined the Advisory Board. She commented that Dr. Packard in the Department of the History of Medicine approached the Department of International Health to develop a concurrent MHS for their doctoral students. She reviewed the program procedures and requirements and commented that the doctoral students could use one chapter of the PhD thesis to meet the master's internship requirement or equivalent written work in place of the internship. The degrees would be awarded simultaneously. In response to a question, the numbers of students in the program is expected to be small, and the Department of International Health collects no virtually no tuition as registration in International Health courses will be interdivisional.
Dr. Zeger commented that faculty and in the School of Medicine value the chance to earn a degree offered by the School of Public Health, however the School of Public Health receives no tuition from this type of arrangement. The Committee on Academic Standards has developed a set of principles to assist in the evaluation of concurrent masters programs to provide some degree of standardization and avoid ad hoc arrangements for individual students.
After further discussion, the MHS in International Health/PhD in the History of Medicine was approved by the Advisory Board.
Request from the Department of Health Policy and Management for two professorial positions
Dr. MacKenzie reviewed the need for two professorial health policy positions in the Department of Health Policy and Management. One will be on the tenure track and the second will be a non-tenure track position. She then brought to the attention of the Advisory Board that a third professorial position in injury control was also a departmental priority. This position will be on the tenure track and is supported by a faculty development endowment. The Advisory Board was supported of conducting searches for the three positions.
Dr. Klag noted that substantial funds had been committed over the next year for a variety of faculty searches across several departments, including bioethics and health economics.
Update on revision of Department of Epidemiology core curriculum
Dr. Goodman joined the Advisory Board. He reviewed the most recent developments in the revision of the Department of Epidemiology's core curriculum. Two tracks are being developed; a 4-course "research" track and a 3-4 course "applied" track. Dr. Goodman discussed the orientation and general content of the two tracks, noting that the courses will be closely interdigitated with the Biostatistics core sequences, including sharing common studies and datasets. In response to a question, he noted that full-time MPH students will be able to complete "Epi 1" in the summer and go on to the "applied" track in the terms 1-3. There will be some but not a substantial degree of overlap between the two introductory level Epidemiology courses. Dr. Brookmeyer remarked on the important academic role served by "Epi 1" in the summer term for MPH students.
Dr. Goodman reported that ideally approximately one third of student taking the current core Epidemiology course sequence would take the research track while 2/3 would take the applied track. There was substantial subsequent discussion about the order, sequence and content of the courses. Faculty will teach all courses on a 3-5 year cycle such that so that courses are not associated with individual faculty members over extended periods of time. Development of a flow chart and policy for students who wish to switch between the research and applied tracks was suggested. In addition, each department now requiring or recommending one of the core Epidemiology courses will need to provide updated information to their students based on review of the new courses. The Advisory Board then discussed the importance of assuring that one sequence is not perceived as more academically challenging than the other sequence. After further discussion, Drs. Goodman and Samet will be invited to a subsequent Committee of the Whole or Advisory Board meeting in Spring 2006, where the syllabi of the new courses can be reviewed.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5 p.m.
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