The Brown School of Washington University in St. Louis is taking a leadership role in a new association that brings together schools and programs of public health.
The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), launched Aug. 1, represents schools and programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The organization is the successor to the Association of Schools of Public Health.
The Brown School is a founding member of ASPPH, and Edward F. Lawlor, PhD, dean and the William E. Gordon Distinguished Professor, has been invited to take a leadership role as the organization defines itself and develops governance and strategies.
“We are proud to be joining as a founding member of this new organization,” Lawlor said. “The time is right for schools and programs to come together to create greater collective impact. Through this organization, we look forward to more collaboration across universities in public health research, education and practice.”
The move to bring schools and programs under one umbrella has been embraced by both CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. More than one-third of the 101 CEPH-accredited public health programs have joined as founding members of ASPPH. Others are expected to sign on in coming months.
CEPH is the independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the accrediting body for public health schools and programs. Accreditation is a rigorous peer-review process designed to assure quality education and training. The accreditation “seal of approval” means graduates are prepared to meet the demands of the 21st-century workforce.
The decision to create a new association came after a two-year “listening campaign” that included focus groups and in-depth conversations with representatives of both schools and programs.
The Brown School already is implementing one of the benefits of being an ASPPH member, a centralized application through SOPHAS.org. Other benefits include one voice for accredited public health education; a strong representation on policy and advocacy; and data resources.
Lawlor, who also is founding director of WUSTL’s Institute for Public Health, has been charged with leading, along with Gary E. Raskob, PhD, dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health, a work group that will refine the design for the new organization, including developing a governance structure and proposing membership services and collaboration strategies.
“Representing both public health schools and programs gives us an opportunity to strengthen public health education, research, teaching and practice,” said Raskob, chair-elect of ASPPH. “This is an historic moment in public health.”
For more information on the organization and a list of member institutions, visit aspph.org.