Top Dornsife School of Public Health Stories of 2016
December 19, 2016
As we renew our commitment to protect and promote the health of the public in 2017, here’s a look back at some of the milestones and proud moments we covered in Dornsife SPH publications in 2016.
The 20-year history of Philadelphia’s first public health school traces the origins and growth of the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University, which began as a glimmer in the eyes of a few determined people in 1996.
Philadelphia became the first major US city to pass a soda tax. Dornsife faculty are already engaged in plans to evaluate the tax, while school faculty and students have been active in related research areas behind the scenes. On the heels of Philly’s soda tax success, four other cities (San Francisco, Oakland, Albany, CA and Boulder, CO) had similar measures on the ballot this fall, all of which passed on November 8.
Dornsife hosted students and faculty from Drexel and other area universities to reflect on implications and impact of the presidential election for the practice of public health. A panel of faculty and students from the school to analyze what the election outcome may mean for the field and what the public health community should be thinking about and doing together.
For the first time last summer, Dornsife public health and Drexel medical students visited our estranged island neighbor, to explore its rich culture and learn firsthand about its prevention-infused approach to health care.
Pennsylvania has the highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the nation among 18-24 year old males, and the 8th highest rate of drug overdose deaths overall. Yet prescription drug overdose prevention efforts across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are lacking in counties with high overdose rates, according to a report released by Dornsife School of Public Health researchers as part of a statewide workgroup studying prescription drug misuse and abuse prevention initiatives.
In January, the school announced the creation of the Dornsife Public Health Alumni Network (DPHAN), an organization currently comprised of graduates of both the MPH and doctoral programs who volunteer to represent the social and professional interests of all Dornsife alumni. Then in April, nearly 80 public health practitioners from across the region gathered for a kickoff event for the newly created Public Health Young Leaders Association (PHYLA) at Nesbitt Hall on Drexel’s University City campus.
Dornsife's Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends program (FIRST), led by Jennifer A. Taylor, PhD, associate professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, published new research, launched a student learning program, and received FEMA funding for an interdisciplinary research program this year:
Accolades Honor Faculty Work in Occupational Health, Public Health History
Ramazzini Award for Career Devoted to Occupational Health awarded to Arthur L. Frank, MD, PhD, professor and chair emeritus in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
American Public Health Award for Book Challenging the Use of Race in Genetic Research presented to Michael Yudell, PhD, MPH, associate professor and chair of Community Health and Prevention.
The newly established Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) rapidly deployed new programs to support urban health education, practice and research at Drexel University.
In 2016, the Collaborative:
- granted four Pilot Project Funding Awards up to $30,000 to researchers working to promote urban health research.
- funded four first year Master's of Public Health students received practica grants to support practical experience relating to urban health.
- welcomed the first cohort of UHC Doctoral Fellows, who share a research focus on understanding and improving health in cities.
- hosted a variety of research seminars, GIS workshops and office hours, and launched an Invited Speaker Series, "New Directions in Urban Health Research and Action.”
Information about 2017 pilot funding and other UHC events and funded programs are available through the UHC quarterly newsletter.
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