Newswise — Washington, D.C. – A new issue of the American Journal of Public Health explores improvements and innovations that could advance the field of public health education. Expert commentary, analysis and research comprise the journal supplement developed to engage in conversation about the need for public health education reform.

“Schools throughout the world have taken up this challenge. And as the collection of articles in this supplement demonstrates, there is no one-size-fits-all panacea. Innovation, as it should, has taken many forms in response to the needs of individual schools and their constituencies,” wrote Linda Fried, MD, MPH, of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and George Thibault, MD, of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation in the issue’s editor’s choice paper, “Reinventing public health education for the 21st century.”

The issue compiles recommendations and commentary on public health practice, school curriculum, professional development and the role of faculty and public health careers in the advancement of public health education. Papers take on topics including global health, public health competencies and innovations in the field and address all levels of public health education, including master level programs, doctoral programs and joint discipline programs.

Capturing a variety of perspectives, the supplement’s content is informed through experts such as former Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Howard Koh, MD, MPH, alongside case studies and examples from various universities and public health programs. Among case studies referenced are an MBA/MPH program at Yale, a Public Health Innovations course at UC Berkeley and transformations in educational strategy at Harvard School of Public Health.

“Public health requires a deep and authentic commitment to team-based approaches. Our field requires a profound understanding that we are all interdependent and interconnected and we all have promises to keep,” Koh writes in his editorial, “The future of public health education: Preparing leaders.”

Papers in the issue also address methods to develop collaboration and synergy between other fields of study, approaches and disciplines, such as “Bridging graduate education in public health and the liberal arts” and “Public health education for the 21st century at the University of Florida: Synergism between organizational capability and educational innovation.”

“Gone are the days, if they ever really existed, where public health professionals could work in the siloes of their various disciplines,” Fried and Thibault explain.

“In collaboration with our colleagues from other health disciplines, we must lead health systems to focus on prevention and health across the life course and actively participate in redesigning those systems to promote prevention and evaluate impact,” they write.

External funding support for this online only supplement was provided in part by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

A full listing of papers included in this issue of the American Journal of Public Health can be found below. These articles will be published online Feb. 23, 2015, at 4 p.m. ET by the American Journal of Public Health under “First Look.” “First Look” articles have undergone peer review, copyediting and approval by authors but have not yet been printed to paper or posted online by issue. The American Journal of Public Health is published by the American Public Health Association.

• Reinventing Public Health Education for the 21st Century • Innovating for 21st Century public health education: a case for seizing this moment • Public Health Education Reform in the Context of Health Professions Education Reform • The Future of Public Health Education: Preparing Leaders • Mentoring for Publication in the American Journal of Public Health • Developing the New Columbia Core Curriculum: A Case Study in Managing Radical Curriculum Change • The Curriculum Revitalization Initiative at Tulane • Our Practice is our Passion: Development and Delivery of a 21st Century DrPH • A Call to Action: Training Public Health Students to be Effective Agents for Social Change • Service Learning: A Vehicle for Building Health Equity and Eliminating Health Disparities• Innovations in Public Health Education: Promoting Professional Development and a Culture of Health • Anticipating Change, Sparking Innovation: Framing the Future • Public Health 101 Nanocourse: A condensed educational tool for non-public health professionals • The UIC DrPH Program: An Innovative Approach to Doctoral Level Practice Leadership Development• Redefining Leadership Education in Graduate Public Health Programs: Prioritization, Focus, and Guiding Principles • Improving the Use of Competencies in Public Health Education • Innovating in Health Care Management Education: Development of an Accelerated MBA/MPH Degree Program at Yale • Solutions That Stick: Activating Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration in a Graduate-Level Public Health Innovations Course at UC Berkeley • Bridging Graduate Education in Public Health and the Liberal Arts • Public Health Education for the 21st Century at the University of Florida: Synergism between Organizational Capability and Educational Innovation • Innovations in Graduate Public Health Education: the case of the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico• Using a case-based, problem-based learning approach to prepare MPH candidates for the complexities of Global Health• The Integrated First Year Experience in the MPH Program • Methodological Innovations in Public Health Education: Transdisciplinary Problem Solving• Public Health as a Catalyst for Interprofessional Education on a Health Sciences Campus • Enhancing Interprofessional Education: Integrating Public Health and Social Work Perspectives• A Renewed Vision for Higher Education in Public Health• Promoting Innovative Thinking • Keeping the "public" in schools of public health • Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals for Public Health Careers • Cultural Competency Training for Public Health Students: Integrating Self, Social and Global Awareness into an MPH Curriculum

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