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For You, Your Community, and the World

Public Health

at Brown

What Is Public Health?


ublic health touches each of us every day: interventions and services developed by public health researchers ensure the safety of our food and water, prevent diseases, and improve health care. Public health helps healthier babies to be born, children to grow and thrive, adults to delay or avoid disease, and older persons to live longer, healthier lives. Brown’s Public Health Program draws upon the University’s unique character, and upon its long tradition of collaboration, innovation, and service. We provide an individualized education for students at all levels, work with community partners to improve population health, and conduct groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research.

is poised to be become a School of Public Health. As an accredited school, Brown will grow as a leader in the field; we will be better positioned to develop local, national, and international collaborations that address important public health challenges, and to attract, educate, and support top researchers and policy makers.

Recognized for its excellence in both research and education, our Public Health Program

– Terrie Wetle, Associate Dean of Medicine for Public Health and Public Policy

Students in the lab of Professor Karl Kelsey, director of the Center for Environmental Health and Technology, study chronic disease epidemiology and tumor biology.

Building on Excellence Brown’s Public Health Program is a powerhouse of research and teaching focused on the world’s most pressing health issues. In just a decade, the Program has grown to comprise more than 70 undergraduate concentrators, 100 master’s students, 45 PhD students, and four distinct and dynamic departments with more than 190 faculty. 121 South Main Street, Providence, the home of Public Health at Brown.

Strengths of the Program • Key areas of excellence Brown is internationally recognized in a number of areas including aging, health services research, genetic and environmental determinants of disease, children’s health, HIV/AIDS, obesity and diabetes, and alcohol and addiction. • Strategic growth and robust funding In the 10 years since its founding, Brown’s Public Health Program has grown rapidly. Annual external funding to the Program’s campusbased and affiliated hospital-based research centers has increased to more than $60 million.

•High-impact research and initiatives Brown’s students and faculty design and implement critical projects that have impact at multiple levels: • Local Home to Rhode Island’s only public health graduate program, Brown works closely with state agencies on key health policies and issues, from health insurance to industrial pollution. • National Initiatives developed at Brown— such as integrating geriatrics into medical school curricula—have been adopted by schools across the country. • International Brown’s work across the world—in Samoa on cardiovascular disease and obesity, in India and Africa on HIV/ AIDS, and in China on long-term care—will inform the way we understand, prevent, and treat diseases at home.

Professor David Savitz came to Brown in 2010 to pursue his interest in perinatal health research: “I was immediately impressed with the idea of a public health program that was truly integrated with the University—very rare among schools of public health. That cohesiveness applies to Brown’s public health faculty. What I later came to recognize as the Brown academic culture—in which talented,

engaging, open-minded colleagues enjoy their work as researchers and teachers—was also very appealing. I’m delighted to be part of the formation of Brown’s School of Public Health, which has real potential to make a major contribution nationally to research, teaching, and service.”

Supporting the Vision During the past 10 years, Brown has made public health a priority, building areas of strength and engaging in strategic growth and investment focused on achieving accreditation as a School of Public Health. Becoming a school will enable Brown to accelerate research, attract the very best faculty and students, and compete for grants and contracts open only to accredited schools of public health. Brown’s public health enterprise is poised to be a prominent leader in education and research,

Professor Eric Loucks, a specialist in cardiovascular physiology, teaches “Scientific Writing in Public Health.”

and—once it is a school—among the very best in the nation, with renowned programs in both established and emerging areas of public health, critical initiatives and studies that impact public policy and improve health, and highly effective community and global outreach programs. With support from generous donors, the public health enterprise will rise to a level that honors the quality of its students and faculty and matches its grand ambitions.

Giving Opportunities Naming the School of Public Health

Seed Fund (Current Use)


A gift of $50 million will transform public health at Brown. It will catalyze promising research, support the education of current and future health care leaders, enable the development of new programs and the recruitment of additional renowned faculty, and raise the stature of both the University and the School. Like other preeminent schools named for donors— Bloomberg at Johns Hopkins University, Rollins at Emory University, Mailman at Columbia University—Brown’s School of Public Health and its benefactor would enjoy national recognition for excellence in education and research.

Endowed Teaching Fund


Dean’s Innovation Fund (Current Use)


Flexible Research/Education Fund (Current Use)


Faculty Support The recruitment of new faculty in the coming years, at all levels of academic rank, would be facilitated by endowment support for faculty initiatives. Endowed Deanship

$5 million

Endowed Center Directorships

$5 million

Endowed Professorships

$3 million

Endowed Assistant Professorships $2 million Endowed Seed Funding

$1 million

Student Support Support for scholarship and research is needed to attract the best students to Brown. More broadly, such funding is needed to attract the best students to the field itself. Additionally, graduates who are free from high levels of debt are more likely to pursue careers in public service, where they are most needed. Endowed Postdoctoral Research Fellowships $1 million Endowed Graduate Fellowships – Doctoral Level


Endowed Graduate Fellowships – Master’s Level


Endowed Financial Aid Fund – Master’s Level


Endowed Student Teaching and Research Award


Public Health Annual Fund Term Fellowship (Current Use)


Chima Ndumele GS’12 came to Brown to pursue a PhD in Health Services Research with a master of public health degree from Tufts University School of Medicine and significant research experience. Chima’s research interests include exploring the impact of organizational factors on quality of care and identifying strategies to reduce health disparities. He was first author on a study recently published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Imagine a world free of obesity-related diseases. Imagine a world without cancer. Imagine a world without AIDS. Imagine a world in which health care is excellent and accessible. Imagine a world of healthy and active older persons. Imagine a world of children who have long, healthy lives ahead of them. Brown’s Public Health Program is making this vision a reality. Faculty and students are testing treatments for AIDS, studying how environmental exposures increase cancer risk, developing methods to raise health care quality and contain cost, creating interventions to promote healthier behaviors, and working to understand healthy aging. These efforts and others support the Program’s overarching aim: to advance, extend, and improve human health and life, now and in the decades to come.

(On the cover) Patrick Vivier, director of the MPH program, meeting with his thesis advisees. Behind him are maps which resulted from his study of lead poisoning in Rhode Island.

For more information:

Brown University Office of Biomedical Advancement Box G-ADV Providence, RI 02912 USA Phone: 401.863.7548 • Fax: 401.863.6745

Public Health at Brown  

Brown Division of Advancement Brochure - For You, Your Community, and the World