Street view of the Ryals Public Health building under a bright blue sky.

In June 2022, the UAB School of Public Health launched the inaugural Community Engagement Council, an advisory committee created to encourage educational excellence in the school in a variety of ways. The goal is to ensure the school’s programs are preparing graduates with relevant, applicable skills as they enter the public health workforce.

As the School of Public Health prepares for reaccreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the Community Engagement Council will be instrumental in providing insight on the school’s strategic priorities and initiatives, guidance on the relevance of its educational programs to the public health workforce, and suggestions for community engagement activities. Council members include UAB School of Public Health alumni, community partners in Birmingham and the state of Alabama, Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) officials, and academic partners within the university. Together these individuals offer their knowledge and expertise to advise the school in areas of improvement, inform appropriate community engagement, address stakeholder concerns, and overall ensure the school is meeting the educational, service, research, and practice needs of its students.

“This committee was created to evaluate whether our programs are adequately preparing students for the ‘real world,’” said Paul Erwin, MD, DrPH, Dean of the UAB School of Public Health. “I’m looking forward to hearing their insights and guidance throughout the next year, helping us plan the education of future generations of public health professionals.”

The council plans to meet twice per calendar year, having held its inaugural meeting in June 2022. The next meeting is scheduled for January 2023, and topics of discussion include celebration activities for the 2023 Public Health Week (held in April) as well as a mock site visit and preparation for the CEPH reaccreditation site visit, which will occur in February 2023.

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