SONHS Receives Accreditation for Bachelor of Science in Public Health

November 22, 2011 — CORAL GABLES, FL – The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) has approved the accreditation of a new Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies.

University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies Dean and Professor Nilda (Nena) P. Peragallo Montano, DrPH, RN, FAAN has been working closely for the past year with University of Miami Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc and the Office of Planning, Institutional Research and Assessment to meet SACS requirements for the new degree.

Public health is the practice of preventing disease and promoting wellness of populations. Students of public health study the ways in which biological, social, psychological, environmental and policy-level factors influence human health. An innovative and exciting component of the BSPH is the Field Experience in Community Health course, in which students will be engaged in “real world” service to our local and global communities and able to contribute significantly to UM's mission of service.

According to Dean Peragallo Montano, “This is wonderful news for the University of Miami and the School of Nursing and Health Studies. The new degree will open a world of new possibilities for our students to get hands on experience to explore issues affecting public health in not only the United States but also globally. There is a skyrocketing demand for a well-trained public health workforce to tackle the 21st century’s most pressing health concerns, such as HIV/AIDS, obesity, terrorism, and reemerging infectious diseases. In order to effectively meet these challenges, professionals must be well-equipped to address multiple health challenges at once.”

Baccalaureate education in public health will well-position students to meet these challenges head-on, both by entering the workforce immediately after college and/or by seeking advanced graduate training in public health and/or allied health fields. Traditionally, public health programs were only offered at the graduate level. Local government and private health agencies have expressed the need for entry level professionals in this field and UMSONHS has answered that call as the first institution of higher education in South Florida to develop a BSPH.

The University will begin accepting students for the new BSPH in Fall 2012. The School has already assembled an outstanding team of faculty to provide the same high quality education as the rest of the programs at the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

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