Campus: San Diego State University -- March 15, 2005
New SDSU Public Health Program to Study Global Emergency
Preparedness and Response
First Class of Students to Start in Fall 2005
San Diego State University announced today that its Graduate School of Public
Health will offer a new master of science degree specialization this fall designed
to produce public health leaders specifically trained to protect communities and
respond to the unique health threats posed by disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism
or massive natural disasters.
The new program, called Global Emergency Preparedness and Response, is accepting
applications for its first class of 10 students. Marilyn Newhoff, dean of SDSU's
College of Health and Human Services, said growing demand from the public health
community for more specialized training led to the development of the program.
"Devastation caused by terrorist acts or by widespread disasters such as the
December 26, 2004 tsunami have shown how complicated and challenging it is for
health professionals to help people during these situations," Newhoff said. "There
is a consensus among many health-related leaders to build a stronger public health
workforce that not only can respond to large disasters requiring multidisciplinary
and massive response on an immediate and long-term basis, but also can detect
potential threats before they become big problems."
Graduates of the program will have an in-depth understanding of a variety of
relevant areas, including design and analysis of epidemiologic data, agents linked
to bioterrorism, the roles of hospitals and public health agencies in disaster
preparedness, disease surveillance and control, applying public health behavior
concepts in sensitive cultural situations, border health issues, environmental
detection technology, public health law and homeland security issues.
Louise Gresham, associate research professor in the Graduate School of Public
Health and coordinator for the Global Emergency Preparedness and Response program,
said the program is relevant for an array of health workers.
"We expect this program will draw strong interest from current or potential
employees of federal, state and local health agencies, international health
agencies and NGOs (non-government organizations), private consultants and military
personnel," said Gresham.
Students in the program will be required to complete 36 units (about 12 courses)
including mandatory subjects such as Border and Global Public Health Surveillance
and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response, as well as electives ranging from
Environmental and Disaster Medicine to Sensor Networks. Students must maintain a
3.0 GPA. Gresham said she expects students on average to complete the program
within two to three years.
"This program will be a big help for the local public health community and beyond,"
said Nancy Bowen, MD, San Diego County Public Health Officer. "It addresses the
changing needs in the public health environment related to preparedness."
This is the second straight year SDSU has launched a new graduate degree program
focusing on workforce needs related to homeland security. In 2004, SDSU launched
a multidisciplinary master's degree program with an emphasis in homeland security
that features courses from several different colleges. Twenty-eight students are
enrolled in the program, 12 of whom are expected to complete it by the end of
Students interested in the Global Emergency Preparedness and Response program are
encouraged to apply before Aug. 1, 2005, for Fall 2005 admission. For more
information about the program, contact Florencia Davis, College of Health and
Human Services, at (619) 594-2743 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information
on the program also is available at
The Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) at SDSU was founded in 1980. It is
one of four nationally accredited schools of public health in California. The
GSPH provides many opportunities for education, research, and community involvement
to advance the state of knowledge in different health disciplines and to improve
the population's health. The GSPH enjoys special collaborative arrangements with
the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego County
Health and Human Services Agency, and other local, regional, and national health
Contact: Jason Foster,
email@example.com, SDSU Marketing &
Communications, (619) 594-2585