School of Public Health


MISSION:
To develop, teach and apply knowledge to promote health and prevent disease.

VISION: A community of outstanding scholars and professionals leading innovation in public health and recognized for improving the health of the citizens of Alabama and the world.

STRATEGIC PLAN SUMMARY: “Together, imagine what we can save.”

Academic Programs

Goals:

  • Undergraduate Major: The undergraduate major in public health quickly became a signature program for the school and university and is unique in the state of Alabama. It addresses the Institute of Medicine call for public health as an essential feature of engaged citizenship.
  • UAB Coordinated Degrees: With the increasing emphasis on interdisciplinary education and training, expand the coordinated degree programs to all professional students.
  • Statewide MOU: A statewide MOU is being developed, first with Auburn University, to streamline the process of offering coordinated degrees for programs like the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (Auburn), Pharmacy (University of South Alabama) or Osteopathy (Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine).
  • Online Programs: The school offers several programs in an online format that will be expanded to facilitate the coordinated degree programs.

Objectives:

  • 2014-2015: Expand the capacity (faculty, space and tracks) to meet the anticipated growth of the program
  • 2015-2019: Launch new iterations to meet specific pre-professional needs in medicine, nursing, dentistry optometry and health professions. Expand to other campuses in the state
  • 2014-2015: Establish an educational programming platform that can be integrated with all of the health professional degree programs at UAB
  • 2015-2019: Fifty percent of professional students will enroll in the coordinated MPH (or MSPH) degrees
  • 2014-2015: Complete MOUs with every college and university in Alabama to allow those institutions to offer a coordinated degree program with the UAB School of Public Health
  • 2015-2019: Enroll 500 students in a coordinated degree program from all of the major public and private institutions in Alabama
  • 2014-2015: Develop full online degree programs in Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Biostatistics
  • 2015-2019: Enroll 500 students statewide in these programs

Achievement:

  • Undergraduate program enrollment increased to almost 150 students, exceeding expectations of approximately 35-50 at this point

Innovative Faculty Scholarship

Goals:

  • Back of the Envelope Awards: In seven years, this unique pilot grant program has leveraged a $350,000 investment into more than $4 million in new federal grants.
  • Biguan: Derived from the Chinese word for retreat, the Biguan is an intense weeklong faculty-mentoring program to increase grant success.
  • Sankofa Group: Established in 2013, the Sankofa Group encourages novel interdisciplinary approaches to big scientific questions.
  • The Edge of Chaos: Developed as an organizing principle for creating new collaborations and partnerships, especially around “wicked problems,” in less than two years The Edge of Chaos has hosted more than 800 meetings/collaborations that has generated more than $500,000 in grants and contracts.
  • Professorships and Chairs: The school currently has three endowed professorships and one endowed chair.

Objectives:

  • 2014-2015: Expand to semiannual and increase development activities to support creative and innovative science
  • 2015-2019: Establish an endowment to support 20 annual Back of the Envelope awards
  • 2014-2015: Formalize the program and identify resources to support expansion
  • 2015-2019: Create an independent, affiliated business line offering the program across campus and to others in Alabama as a new source of revenue
  • 2014-2015: Complete the strategic development of the Sankofa Group.
  • 2015-2019: Initiate and coordinate two major (>$20 million) initiatives annually
  • 2014-2015: Complete a strategic review of The Edge of Chaos to assure full integration with and financial independence of the school
  • 2015-2019: Support programs across campus and with local business and industry to generate $3 million annually in grants and contracts
  • 2014-2015: Initiate efforts to increase endowments to support faculty research and scholarship
  • 2015-2019: Establish endowments of $10 million to support faculty scholarship and research

Achievement:

  • No. 4 in NIH funding among public schools of public health

Environmental Health Sciences

Goals:

  • Coordinated Programs: Environmental health research and education is fragmented across UAB while at the same time is growing in popularity among students and is an increasing focus of local, regional and national investment. UAB has the opportunity to establish a new framework for environmental health science that will attract new students and additional support for faculty and research.  

Objectives:

  • 2014-2015: Complete campuswide strategic assessment of environmental health sciences with the goal of creating a new universitywide department
  • 2015-2019: Establish universitywide department with a goal of attracting more than five new environmental health science faculty, expanding undergraduate and graduate education, and increasing the research portfolio to $10 million annually

Existing and Emerging Markets

Goals:

  • Existing Areas of Excellence: The School of Public Health has developed excellence in a number of areas of scientific investigation which should continue to be a major focus of strategic investments.
  • Emerging Areas of Inquiry: The science and education of public health continues to change driven in part by the Great Recession and the Affordable Care Act. The changes offer opportunities in potential new areas of inquiry.
  • Commercial Products Division: Several research tools have important commercial potential, particularly in the areas of outcomes effectiveness research and pharmaco-economics.

Objectives:

  • 2014-2015: Conduct an inventory of existing areas of excellence, including, but not limited to, stroke, health disparities, genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics, obesity, energetics, pharmacoepidemiology, cardiovascular epidemiology, global infectious diseases and research on research integrity
  • 2015-2109: Continue to invest in and support areas of excellence
  • 2014-2015: Conduct a strategic assessment of these emerging areas of inquiry, such as, but not limited to, addiction science (Center for Addictive Behaviors and Addiction), aging, science of science education in public health, interface of public health, climate change and sustainability, and personalized medicine.
  • 2015-2019: Begin specific investments based on strategic assessment
  • 2014-2015: Develop a comprehensive strategy for a Commercial Product Division centered initially on outcomes effectiveness research and pharmaco-economics
  • 2015-2019: Launch the Commercial Products Division with the goal of obtaining $5 million annually in grants and contracts