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A Decade of Leadership and Growth: The Promise of Tomorrow
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On August 1, 2002, Marla J. Gold, MD, started as dean of the Drexel University School of Public Health. Since that time, the school has built strong partnerships between academia and the community to address local, national and global public health issues. All key growth indicators have increased exponentially and today we celebrate this decade of growth and school-wide achievement.
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Advancing Public Health through Science and Practice. Our Shared Vision For the Future The Drexel University School of Public Health will lead the integration of social justice and human rights in academic public health and be a model for interdisciplinary collaboration and civic engagement.
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The nexus of science and practice, of research and real partnerships, defines us. Our Mission The Drexel University School of Public Health improves the health of communities and populations through innovative education and training programs, cutting-edge research and scholarship, and cooperative partnerships with other civic, business and academic institutions committed to solving our worldâ€™s most difficult health challenges.
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A School Without Walls Emerging through ever-changing public health priorities and the evolving academic landscape of the region at its outset, the Drexel University School of Public Health (SPH) has become a national authority in promoting the health of communities. Though still relatively young, the school’s growth within Drexel University and the public health community has been exceptional. The SPH strives to advance the health status of vulnerable populations with a strong commitment to improve the health of communities through service, research and practice. A group of visionary faculty, community leaders and business executives imagined a school focused on addressing relevant public health issues. The school would bridge the gap between academia and community— forming a true partnership between professors, students, and the Greater Philadelphia Region and beyond. It was referred to, and continues to be, a “School Without Walls.” “The Drexel University School of Public Health gets it. Producing highlyqualified, future professionals is not enough,” said a community preceptor who works with SPH students. “The tremendous resources academic institutions have in their students, faculty and research are needed here and now to improve real people’s lives, and that’s what the SPH does.” In addition, the SPH was founded on the fundamental notion that improved health cannot be achieved without basic human rights. It is a guiding principle that continues to be instilled in the curriculum, research and practice across the school. It is an understatement to say the SPH has simply grown. It has positively exploded over the last decade. Key growth indicators, including revenues, participating students, faculty, academic programs, grants and research, have increased exponentially since 2002. This progress was accomplished with a commitment and passion for public health and Drexel University by the students, faculty, staff and administration across the school and university, as well as many community partners and supporters. Dean Marla J. Gold (middle right) prepares to climb the steps at Philadelphia's City Hall at an event to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity and health.
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caption goes here Dean Gold officially opens the GSK Smart Lab at the School of Public Health.
At Our Core: True Community Engagement You don’t just learn public health at Drexel. You live it. Today’s SPH students cumulatively accrue more than 70,000 hours annually in the community by working together with hundreds of community partners to make a difference in the lives of others. The students identify a public health related concern within a community or agency and create a program of study, working with a community partner, to research and help address that concern. The student gains significant and meaningful real-life experience while doing their master’s project, and the community partner ultimately benefits from the student’s work. Thus, the thesis is designed to help solve a real-world challenge. “Our student’s research tool will be incorporated into our evaluation methods in the field going forward,” said a community preceptor. “We learned from her!” Many students are hired by their community partner.
The SPH faculty is an important piece to the practice efforts, which are directed overall by Jennifer Kolker, MPH, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice. Students work with community partners, and faculty serve as mentors who work with students to help advance their research and careers. In addition, the PA Public Health Training Center at Drexel University under the leadership of Associate Dean Kolker provides ongoing professional partnerships with the community and leads training programs for those already in the public health workforce. “Big cities need big leaders, ones with the vision and drive to turn dreams into reality,” said William S. George, President and CEO, Health Partners. “From taking the SPH from a start-up to a world class program, with a focus on solving real-life urban problems, to her bold dedication to preventing and treating HIV/AIDS, we are grateful for all Dean Marla Gold has done for our members and our city.”
“Marla Gold’s brilliance, her vision, and her tenacity, catapulted the Drexel University School of Public Health into a regional and then a national powerhouse in public health. Under her leadership, and with her team, the School of Public Health is now truly a ‘gem’ in the Drexel ‘crown.’” Gerianne Tringali DiPiano President and Chief Executive Officer FemmePharma Global Healthcare, Inc. Trustee, Drexel University Advisory Council Member, Drexel University School of Public Health
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Class of 2014
Student Enrollment and Academics A decade ago, the SPH consisted of about 45 students and a handful of dedicated faculty. It offered one Master’s of Public Health degree through a full-time or executive course of study. Today more than 450 students participate in academic programs, and the SPH offers multiple master’s and doctoral programs, joint degrees, online certificates and undergraduate courses. It joined Drexel Sacramento in 2009 offering the Executive MPH program. Warren Hilton, Assistant Dean for Student and External Affairs, SPH, oversees enrollment at the school.
Class of 2005
The SPH has always strived to attract the best and brightest students. The SPH also values diversity and places an emphasis on creating a learning environment that allows for diverse perspectives. Faculty growth has matched the increasing student enrollment. Over the past decade more than 45 faculty
members have joined the SPH, building a group that conducts cutting-edge research and prepares students for leadership roles. The SPH was fully-accredited in 2007 by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). When it merged with Drexel University a decade ago, the SPH joined the 51 private universities classified by the Carnegie Foundation as Doctoral/Research Universities- Extensive. At the same time, Drexel University joined the top 100 U.S. universities in federal research expenditures and market value of endowments. Collectively, the SPH faculty, staff and administration have driven this growth. “Under Dean Gold’s leadership, and with her team, the SPH is now truly a ‘gem’ in the Drexel ‘crown,’" said Gerianne Tringali DiPiano, President and CEO, FemmePharma Global Healthcare, Inc., and Drexel University and SPH trustee.
Research and Global Engagement The SPH is a comprehensive research institution with multiple departments, research centers and robust training programs with a focus on some of society’s most pressing local, national and global health concerns.
Overall, faculty research has quadrupled over the past decade, and members of the faculty have received major individual achievements. The research effort is directed by Ann C. Klassen, PhD, Associate Dean for Research.
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Craig Newschaffer, PhD, received more than $15M in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Autism Speaks, including the national Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI). Dr. Newschaffer now leads the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute recently established by Drexel President John A. Fry. It is the first autism research center focused on public health science. John Rich, MD, MPH, was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for his work to address inner-city violence. He is the only faculty member at Drexel University to receive this “genius” award. He is joined by Ted Corbin, MD, and Sandra Bloom, MD, in addressing violence internationally. Brian Lee, PhD, is leading autism research with colleagues in Sweden. Igor Burstyn, PhD, is contributing valuable research on cancer end environmental health, including dispelling myths about cell
phones and cancer, with research based in the U.S. and Canada. Arthur Frank, MD, MPH, travels the globe conducting research and training public health professionals on the impacts of asbestos. In addition, Longjian Liu, MD, PhD, MSc, FAHA, was awarded an international fellowship and has directed research to address cardiovascular diseases with colleagues in Japan and China that can help communities worldwide. However, this global focus is not only for research. More international research and practice opportunities for students have been created through the Global Public Health Initiative, along with a new global public health certificate directed by Shannon P. Márquez, PhD, MEng, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the Global Public Health Initiative.
“Dean Gold has a huge heart and the patience to listen to and actually hear the various community stakeholders.” Shirley Randleman Philadelphia Beauty Showcase
Setting the Stage for a Bright Future The school’s growth over the past decade has been clear, steady and dramatic. The faculty and leadership of the SPH are in place to carry out a comprehensive strategic plan that is closely aligned with the overall university strategic plan. Under the plan, the school retains its focus on health disparities research and the critical importance of the interplay of health and human rights. Future growth will be focused on undergraduate education, global public health initiatives and key research centers, with renewed emphasis on the school’s public health practice expertise. The SPH is also planning a move to its own building on the University City Campus of Drexel University into a renovated Nesbitt Hall. A move to the building has significant strategic value to the continued growth and expansion of the school's offerings
and its relationship with the communities it serves. The SPH will be getting the room and facilities to support its increasing research enterprise now and into the future, including labs where researchers can work safely; cuttingedge classrooms where students can optimally learn; and conference rooms with state-of-the-art communications capabilities. The renovated building will also provide numerous work spaces, conference areas, student lounges, and other amenities that contribute to a nurturing and collegial educational environment. As public health problems, such as HIV/AIDS, tobacco use, inner-city violence, and increases in the prevalence of autism and hunger continue to emerge, the SPH stands poised to address the most pressing public health concerns.
“During the last decade, Marla Gold has provided great leadership and moved the Drexel University School of Public Health to a greater level of excellence.” James W. Curran, MD, MPH Dean Rollins School of Public Health Emory University
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A Decade of Growth
2002 â€“ 2012
School of Public Health formally merges with Drexel University
Marla J. Gold, MD, named dean by then-Drexel President Constantine Papadakis
School receives full-accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health, becomes full-member of the Association of Schools of Public Health
SPH celebrates its 10th anniversary with a gala at the National Constitution Center
School hosts its first Jonathan Mann Health & Human Rights Memorial Lecture featuring Dr. Paul Farmer
School awarded $15M for EARLI autism study
Executive MPH degree offered at Drexel Sacramento
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Students cumulatively accrue 70,000 hours annually in community research
John A. Fry becomes Drexel University’s 14th President
President Fry announces A.J. Drexel Autism Institute
SPH completes its five-year strategic plan focusing on advancing public health through science and practice
Establishment of the Global Public Health Initiative
NIH-funded Opening Doors Health Disparities research grant starts
SPH offers multiple doctoral, master’s and joint degrees, including three online certificates and an undergraduate public health program
School’s anticipated move to Drexel’s University City Campus into a renovated Nesbitt Hall
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SUSTAINABLE GROWTH BY THE NUMBERS Key Growth Indicators 2002 – 2012 Total Revenues Increased
Total Grant Funding Increased >1,100% Student Enrollment Increased from 45
Faculty Members Have Grown from 5
Degree Programs and Certificates Increased from 1
PUBLISHED Numerous faculty published books. Highlights include: Curtis Cummings, MD, MPH “Strengthening National Public Health Preparedness and Response to Chemical, Biological and Radiological Agent Threats” Michael Yudell, PhD, MPH “Welcome to the Genome” Nathalie Bartle, EdD “Venus in Blue Jeans – Why Mothers & Daughters Need to Talk About Sex” David Barton Smith, PhD “Health Care Divided – Race and Healing a Nation” John Rich, MD, MPH “Wrong Place, Wrong Time – Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men” Sandra Bloom, MD “Destroying Sanctuary”
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IN THE NEWS
INTERACTION MAGAZINE The SPHâ€™s semi-annual magazine has evolved over the decade.
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GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT Faculty, students and alumni from the SPH are engaged in public health initiatives across the globe. The SPH has established new institutional partnership agreements with schools of public health in China, Gambia and France. Highlights include:
California Nancy Epstein, MPH, MPAL, joined 30 scholars, health researchers and religious leaders from North America and Israel to talk about faith-based public health.
Guatemala Emily Burke, MPH ’12, visited local villages and met with public health leaders in Guatemala.
Africa Shannon P. Márquez, PhD, MEng, leads water purification and developmentrelated projects, as well as serves as a visiting professor at universities in Gambia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Mali. She recently traveled to Ethiopia with Drexel University President John A. Fry and philanthropists and university benefactors Dana and David Dornsife to explore partnerships focused on access to clean water and health care practices. Five students spend their summer leading public health projects at local hospitals and villages across Gambia.
Uganda Kim Truang, MPH ’09, implemented a malaria diagnosis program at a rural clinic in the village of Bumwalukani.
India & Sri Lanka Hernando Perez, PhD, MPH, CIH, CSP, Jennifer Taylor, PhD, MPH, and Arthur Frank, MD, MPH, travel to India and Sri Lanka teaching students and training public health officials on environmental and occupational health.
Japan & China Longjian Liu, MD, PhD, MSc, FAHA, awarded international fellowship and travels to Japan frequently collaborating with local researchers on cardiovascular diseases.
“Dean Gold has skillfully worked to secure generous institutional support from former and current leaders at Drexel. The support she garnered facilitated the school’s evolution while attracting a highly regarded faculty, and students from across the nation and world.” Augusta “Toti” Villanueva, PhD Associate Professor Drexel University School of Public Health
Students meet with local health teams in The Gambia
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Emily Burke, MPH ’12, in a local village of Guatemala.
Professors Hernando Perez and Arthur Frank take time to volunteer in India.
Associate Dean Shannon Márquez and Drexel University President John A. Fry in Ethiopia exploring partnerships to improve access to clean water.
Professor Longjian Liu teaches and collaborates with researchers in Japan.
Kim Truong, MPH ’09, in a local village of Uganda.
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A MAJOR COMMUNITY PRESENCE These words are the essence of the SPH and are at the core of the school. Students at the SPH cumulatively accrue more than 70,000 hours annually practicing public health at hundreds of community locations across Philadelphia, the nation and abroad. Students identify a community health-related need and provide the community partner with a plan on how to address that need. It’s a partnership that is meaningful to both the student and community. Students have routinely ranked this as one of the most meaningful and fulfilling portions of their academic study at the SPH. The hands-on experience is one of the main reasons students say they decided to enroll at the school. This practice-oriented approach was bolstered even more so by the Center for Public Health Practice, and the recent appointment of Associate Professor Jennifer Kolker, MPH, to Associate Dean for Public Health Practice. Associate Dean Kolker is well known nationally among public health practice administrative leaders, and her appointment will be impactful with the immense growth of the SPH and Drexel University’s growing focus on civic engagement and neighborhood initiatives. Kolker also directs the PA Public Health Training Center at Drexel University, which trains current public health professionals with the latest best practices. It is one of 37 federally-funded training centers across the nation. Associate Dean Kolker and Professor Rabbi Nancy Epstein, MPH, MAHL, were also recently awarded a national best practices award for their workshop on religious competency and public health.
At the same time, the SPH is at the forefront of providing students with opportunities overseas through its Global Field Practice Experience directed by Shannon P. Márquez, PhD, MEng, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the Global Public Health Initiative. Most recently, five students spent six weeks in The Gambia assisting local hospitals and villages. In addition, several other students addressed environmental and occupational health concerns in India. Others have led service projects in Haiti, Guatemala and Zimbabwe. The faculty are also engaged community partners. Professor Ray Lum, MPhil, MS, has worked deeply for years with the Hepatitis B Foundation to help prevent hepatitis B in Asian American communities (second from the right in image to right). Renee Turchi, MD, MPH, is also a pediatrician and received a statewide “champion” award for her work to address the healthcare needs of children with special needs. Mariana Chilton, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, established the Center for Hunger-Free Communities, Witnesses to Hunger research program and helped shine a national spotlight on hunger and poverty in America. “Dean Marla Gold’s talent recruiting a critical mass who equally value and believe in the school’s mission, has also helped to build what are now signature programs linking faculty, students, and communitybased partners,” said Augusta “Toti” Villanueva, PhD, an associate professor.
“Big cities need big leaders, ones with the vision and drive to turn dreams into reality. Marla Gold is such a leader. We are grateful for all she has done for our members and our city.” William S. George President and CEO Health Partners 14
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Professor Arthur Frank meets with staff from the R&D facilities of 3M in India.
Andrew Tanner, MPH ‘06, received a Presidential Scholarship to serve with the U.S. Forest Service in the western U.S.
SPH students seek to help “Stamp Out Smoking” at a press conference in Philadelphia’s famed-Rittenhouse Square.
Thalia Williams, MPH ‘11, with her master’s projects partners and preceptor at Health Partners.
Professor Jennifer Taylor (middle) and program manager Leah Roman (far right) stand with personnel from the Philadelphia and State of Florida fire departments as part of their national fire fighter safety research. 15
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ACADEMICS A decade ago, the SPH was not an accredited school and consisted of about 45 students and a handful of dedicated faculty. Today the student participation has grown to more than 450 and the SPH offers multiple master’s and doctoral programs, as well as an executive MPH and online certificates in global health, LGBT health and epidemiology. It also expanded in 2009 to offer its Executive MPH degree at Drexel Sacramento. The SPH also has joint faculty and degrees with the Drexel University College of Medicine and Earle Mack School of Law. In addition, the SPH offers an undergraduate minor in public health, and an undergraduate major will begin in the fall 2013. However, it was always more than just about filling seats. Curriculum was revised to meet accreditation requirements and better attract the best and brightest students and faculty. Equally important, the SPH places an emphasis on creating a learning environment that allows for diverse perspectives, and matched the diversity of the surrounding region and nation. In fact, the recent Middle States reaccreditation of
the university twice cited the SPH for the diversity of faculty and students, noting a strong connection to civic engagement. A growing student body means more faculty to teach and guide students. Over the past decade more than 45 faculty members have joined the SPH, building a group that conducts cutting-edge research and prepares the best and brightest public health students for leadership roles The faculty has worked tirelessly to collaborate with others, leverage university resources and expand research and academic opportunities. The SPH was fully-accredited in 2007 by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), and it is a full-member of the Association of Schools of Public Health. In fact, the SPH received the highest possible rankings. An amazing accomplishment for a school receiving its first accreditation. Since that time the SPH has clearly flourished within Drexel University, academia and the public health community thanks mostly to its faculty, staff and administration.
“During Dean Gold’s tenure at the School of Public Health, student enrollment has grown significantly. We have worked closely over the years to promote the School of Public Health and let prospective students know about the remarkable educational opportunities that the school’s faculty provide. Enrollment will continue to grow given the firm foundation that Dean Gold created.” Joan McDonald Senior Vice President, Student Enrollment Drexel University
Students receive the School of Public Health’s pin from faculty at the annual student welcoming ceremony.
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Dr. Julie Gerberding, former director of the CDC, gives the first Dr. Eli Abrutyn Memorial Lecture at the School of Public Health and College of Medicine.
Ilvia Pacheco-Elias, MPH ‘11, and her husband, Jose, MBA ’11, graduate together from Drexel Sacramento.
Dr. Paul Farmer, humanitarian and co-founder of Partners in Health, gives the inaugural Jonathan Mann Health & Human Rights Lecture on November 20, 2007.
Professor Dennis Gallagher teaches health management and policy in the Executive MPH degree program.
Dr. Rashidah Abdul-Khabeer gives the keynote address to students at the SPH’s annual welcoming and pinning ceremony. 17
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OUR RESEARCH: Public Health in Action The SPH has grown its research enterprise at an astonishing rate this past decade and remains strongly committed to a blended model of service with science. In the last five years alone, the school’s research expenditures have more than doubled in amount and are guided by Ann C. Klassen, PhD, Associate Dean for Research. In fact, the SPH now ranks third in research expenditures among the schools and colleges of the university, which is quite a major accomplishment for such a young school. The SPH has been awarded NIH funded grants in the areas of autism, substance abuse, violence prevention, gender norms, energy, obesity and women’s health. The SPH has the only faculty member at Drexel University, and one of the few in Greater Philadelphia, to receive a MacArthur Fellowship Grant for his work addressing urban violence. The school also boasts some of the most talented, involved and passionate faculty members in public health. In addition to the grants, their research is routinely published in peerreviewed, academic journals. They also appear as noted experts in many mainstream media outlets across the nation. The SPH also created a number of research centers and projects, allowing faculty to focus their abilities on targeted research and helping students. These centers address such
public health issues as autism, emergency preparedness, firefighter injury prevention, health care disparities, hunger and poverty, public health training and urban violence. The school’s diversity in the focus of the various centers speaks to the depth and breadth of our research. Drexel University President John A. Fry has shown a clear and significant commitment to the research initiatives at the SPH. In 2012, the SPH began its “Opening Doors for Diverse Populations to Health Disparities Research” science education program, which was designed to increase the number of health disparities researchers, and was made possible by the school’s receipt of a $1.7M grant from the National Institutes of Health. Meanwhile, faculty cross-collaboration with other Drexel University academic units is growing significantly. Multi-disciplinary programs to address HIV/AIDS, violence, autism, asthma and aging are bringing together various academic departments from across Drexel University, the Academy of Natural Sciences and other institutions across the region.
“Ambitious for the School of Public Health, loyal to her faculty and animated by bedrock principles, Dean Gold is at the same time a collaborative colleague with a desire to advance the university as a whole. She is ‘Good as Gold.’” Mark Greenberg, PhD Provost Drexel University
Zena Yusef, MPH ’12, with Professor Igor Burstyn talking about mobile technology and research.
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Students in the MPH program present their required Community-Based Masterâ€™s Project research to the community at a poster session at the end of their second year.
The inaugural class of students in the Opening the Doors for Diverse Populations to Health Disparities Research program.
Andrea Davis, MPH â€™12, (above) worked with Professor Amy Auchincloss on a study on nutrition and the use of menu labeling at national chain restaurants.
Professor Brian Lee leads international research on epidemiology and autism. 19
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LGBT Health The SPH’s Program for LGBT Health at the school is one of just a handful of major academic efforts in the U.S. to specifically address the complex issues confronting the health disparities and health seeking behaviors of LGBT people.
Did You Know
Dr. Longjian Liu coauthored a paper with DrPH student Shaum Kabadi and Dr. Brian Lee, which found that the combination of obesity and vitamin D deficiency puts people at an even greater risk of insulin resistance than either factor alone.
Dr. Craig Newschaffer received a grant from NIH and Autism Speaks that created one of the largest public-private partnerships focused on understanding the causes of autism to date.
Dr. Randall Sell was one of the first to estimate the prevalence of lesbians, gays and bisexuals in a probability sample of the United States, United Kingdom and France. An early-education behavioral and substance abuse prevention program designed by Dr. Lisa Ulmer was selected in 2010 as one of only three social programs to be "Near Top Tier" by the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy.
KEEPING IT REAL
Briana and Damon are animated characters designed by the community with research from Dr. Nicole Vaughn to help address urban youth violence. Videos, mass transit ads and social media helped these characters speak to communities.
The childhood obesity rate has declined in Philadelphia by 5% over 4 years, according to a study coauthored by Dr. Marcia Polansky.
Firefighter Safety Dr. Jennifer A. Taylor was awarded a three year, $1M Fire Prevention and Safety grant from FEMA and the DHS. The award builds on Dr. Taylor’s previous FEMA grant researching and developing the components of a national firefighter non-fatal injury data system.
Dr. Igor Burstyn found that the risk of poor test results among children born small-for gestational-age to mothers who smoked was 29.4%, higher than in any other strata of maternal smoking and fetal growth.
Working to Eliminate Hunger and Poverty According to the Center for Hunger-Free Communities, 28.4% of Philadelphians are living in poverty, an increase of 1.7% from last year. In addition, 39.3% of children under 18 are living in households below the federal poverty line. This figure represents an increase of almost 3% since last year.
Dr. Carla Campbell found that primary prevention efforts did not lead to lower blood lead levels in children. However, interventions were shown to have positive results such as improved parental knowledge about lead exposure/poisoning prevention and in-home wet cleaning activity, and a decrease in lead dust levels in study homes.
Dr. Yvonne Michael received a grant from the NIH in 2011 to study methods to address the growing number of seniors who prefer to “age in place,” meaning they prefer to remain in their homes and neighborhoods as long as possible.
Dr. Stephen Lankenau studies prescription drug misuse among young injection drug users in Los Angeles and New York. He is also leading evaluation studies of overdose prevention programs in Los Angeles and Philadelphia to determine programs that effectively reduce the risks of fatal drug overdoses.
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Dr. Mariana Chilton and participants from the Witnesses to Hunger research project were featured in the Participant Media film about hunger in America called A Place at the Table. The film was in landmark theatres nationwide and available on iTunes and onDemand.
Dr. Michael Yudell brings an historical and ethical viewpoint to the autism conversation. He is currently writing a book, Ages of Uncertainty: Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Search for Cause and Cure, which explores the history of ASDs. Dr. Yudell has also published books and presented research on the history of the genome. Scheduled for 2013 release will be the third volume of Dr. Sandra Bloom’s Sanctuary trilogy, written with co-author Brian Farragher. Titled “Restoring Sanctuary: A New Operating System for Trauma-Informed Systems of Care.”
Public Health Training Center Headed by Associate Dean for Public Health Practice Jennifer Kolker, the PA Public Health Training Center trains current public health professionals on the latest best practices.
Middle-aged women’s food and diet history affects their current ideas about food, health and nutrition, according to a report by Dr. Ann Klassen and her colleagues. The study also found that “cultural tailoring,” the idea that people view foods based on culture and memories, should be incorporated into healthy eating initiatives.
2012: A Year in the Life of SPH Scholarship • 2/12 – Dr. Igor Burstyn edits issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, publishes “The Role of Maternal Smoking in Effect of Fetal Growth Restriction on Poor Scholastic Achievement in Elementary School.” • 2/12 – Dr. Brian Lee receives grant from Autism Speaks to investigate whether early immune abnormalities and challenges in utero are associated with risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders. • 4/12 – Dr. Amy Auchincloss publishes “A Review of Spatial Methods in Epidemiology, 2000-2010” in the Annual Review of Public Health. • 5/12 – Dr. Ann Klassen co-leads NIH Conference on “Mixed Methods for Dissemination and Implementation of Health Interventions” and presents, along with John Rich, MD, MPH. • 9/12 – Dr. Longjian Liu publishes “Global variability in diabetes mellitus and its association with body weight and primary healthcare support in 49 low- and middleincome developing countries” in Diabetic Medicine. • 9/12 – Dr. Esther Chernak gives Keynote Address at 8th Annual meeting of Directors of Public Health Preparedness, on “What We Talk About When We Talk About Community Resilience.” • 9/12 – Dr. Nora Lee publishes “Prenatal secondhand smoke exposure and infant birth weight in China” in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. • 11/12 – Dr. Suruchi Sood leads a Regional Communication for Development (C4D) Workshop in Istanbul for the Central and Eastern Europe Commonwealth of Independent States. • 11/12 – Jonathan Purtle, MPH, doctoral candidate, publishes “Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States: A Health Equity Perspective” in American Journal of Public Health. • 12/12 – Associate Dean Jennifer Kolker and Amy Lin, MPH ‘11, publish “Multi-cohort model for prevalence estimation of advanced malignant melanoma in the US: an increasing public health concern” in Melanoma Research.
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OUR HEARTBEAT: Faculty and Staff The growth of the SPH over the past ten years would not have been possible without the commitment and efforts of its dedicated faculty and staff. Starting with an initial “founding faculty” of five, the SPH now features more than 50 faculty and countless adjunct and secondary faculty. All are experts in their field, and they make an impact nearly everyday on the health and well-being of communities. Some members of the faculty were selected to the prominent Institute of Medicine and other nationally-recognized organizations. Many have also been recognized nationally and internationally for their work. However, it’s the commonly unrecognized efforts of the professional staff that serve as the backbone of any solid institution. The SPH is no exception. Grown from the similarly founding handful of staff, many of today’s professional staff at the school hold advanced degrees and spearhead the efforts of many centers and
programs making the difference in the lives of others each day. Staff like Angelita Tucker, Diane Benckert and Venus Ennis-Calloway have served in a multitude of administrative roles from nearly the school’s beginning. Perry McFarland, MBA, Associate Dean for Finance and Administration, has directed the SPH’s business affairs resulting in an enterprise with $25M in annual revenue and significant growth in research funding and profitability. In addition, Warren Hilton, Assistant Dean for Student and External Affairs, has spearheaded the surge in student participation, as well as directs the school’s student activities efforts and career services. His leadership can be felt across the school community, and students today are more satisfied with their experience at the SPH than ever before. Leadership is important, but the success of the SPH would not be attained without the efforts of the great faculty and staff.
“Under Dean Gold’s leadership and with her strong support, a faculty and staff committed to building a strong academic and community presence in the region went to work and the School of Public Health has soared!” Sue Ezell Retired Academic Program Manager Drexel University School of Public Health
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Professor Nathalie Bartle (far right) mentored and collaborated with students on maternal and child health research. Here she stands with students at a local conference.
Professor Craig Newschaffer gives a lecture at a conference on autism hosted by the SPH at the U.S. Constitution Center.
SPH staff members Helene Labenz, Stephanie Johnson and Sue Ezell Street (left to right) are ready to register students at orientation.
Director of Recruitment Colleen Baillie talks to a prospective student.
Solomon Evans and Linda Rich, staff members at the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice, pose after receiving the Presidentâ€™s Award from Drexel University.
SPH departmental business manager Marie Bachelor with Jeffrey Lurie, the owner of Philadelphia Eagles, at the annual Business Leaders of the Year award dinner from the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University.
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THE PROMISE OF TOMORROW The SPH is at the nexus of science and practice, while also at the forefront of innovation and collaboration at Drexel University. There is a clear vision and mission for the SPH’s future. The SPH recently completed its five-year strategic plan guided by Dennis Gallagher, MPH, Associate Professor, that is focused on training new leaders, innovation, scholarship, civic engagement, infrastructure and the promotion of health as a fundamental human right. Some of the initiatives in that plan are starting to emerge. The Undergraduate Public Health Program is well established under the direction of Jennifer Breaux, PhD, MPH, ’11 ‘04, Assistant Professor. Undergraduate students are already enrolled in the minor degree program, and an undergraduate major in public health will begin in the fall 2013. This puts Drexel University at the forefront of training the next generation of public health professionals.
increasing focus on global health dovetails with Drexel University’s global model to create an internationally diverse learning community and be an engaged global citizen. In addition, Drexel University’s President John A. Fry has shown a clear and significant commitment to the SPH. From his initial convocation speech to his support of programs to address hunger and autism, President Fry has also been a driving force for the School of Public Health’s push for a new building on Drexel University’s University City Campus. The dedicated building for the SPH will not only better serve the school’s needs, but it will also help to foster greater collaboration, student achievement and improved health for communities. The promise of tomorrow for the SPH looks bright.
Meanwhile, faculty crosscollaboration with other Drexel University academic units is growing significantly. The SPH is also striking new research and service collaboration agreements with schools globally, including schools of public health in France, China, and West Africa, along with the school’s global field experiences. This
The Dean's Advisory Council helps provide leadership and strategic guidance for Dean Gold and the SPH.
“Dean Marla Gold is a true role model as a physician, an educator and a global leader in the field of public health. Her tireless contributions to healthcare and to Drexel University are beyond measure.” Susan Stein, MPH ’06 CEO and President, Connexion Healthcare Advisory Council Member, Drexel University School of Public Health
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Exterior of renovated Nesbitt Hall for the SPH.
Associate Dean Shannon P. Marquez (middle left) stands with officials from the University of The Gambia and SPH students during her trip there to establish educational and research partnerships with the African school.
Students take a break from staffing a table at a community health and wellness fair.
New â€œsmartâ€? computer classrooms will be featured in the renovated Nesbitt Hall for the SPH.
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“Our student’s research tool will be incorporated into our evaluation methods in the field going forward. We learned from her!” SPH Community Preceptor
“The school was turned from a little known entity into a praiseworthy school that boasts top notch faculty and students.” Stephen Bouikidis Executive Vice President, NetReach Technologies, LLC Advisory Council Chair, Drexel University School of Public Health
“Dean Marla Gold is an outstanding public health leader passionate about important issues, particularly human rights, and effective in building consensus resulting in action.” Harrison Spencer President Association of Schools of Public Health
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“Dean Gold has been a driving force in shaping the School of Public Health into an institution of excellence.” Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH Dean UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
“While building the SPH for the past 10 years and grappling with numerous challenges, Dean Gold always exhibited preeminent qualities of leadership and served as a tireless role model.” Nathalie A. Bartle, EdD Retired Professor Drexel University School of Public Health
“The Drexel School of Public Health gets it. The tremendous resources academic institutions have in their students, faculty and research are needed here and now to improve real people’s lives, and that’s what the School of Public Health does.” SPH Community Preceptor 27
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Dean Marla J. Gold, MD From the President of Drexel University:
The culture and identity of an institution arise from the work it undertakes and the ideals of its people. At Drexel, our identity has been profoundly influenced by Marla Gold and her incredible accomplishments. Marla transformed the School of Public Health in her decade as deanâ€”growing the student body exponentially, recruiting 30 full-time faculty, attracting 150-plus community partners annually and achieving full accreditation. But just as important, Marla helped inspire our University as a whole to reflect her ideals of service to individuals, leadership in communities and transformation of society through the tireless search for solutions to our challenges. On behalf of everyone at Drexel, I thank Marla for her leadership and vision. Her legacy here will be enormous and everlasting. John A. Fry
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