The Mission of the School of Public Health

The mission of the School of Public Health is to provide quality education, research, service, and leadership to improve public health and eliminate health disparities, through a unique partnership between the University at Albany and the New York State Department of Health.

The Vision & Themes of the School of Public Health

To lead the state and nation in designing solutions and developing models which address current and emerging public health challenges through the creation of collaborative research, education, and practice activities that build on the unique partnership between the University at Albany and the NYS Department of Health.

When the University at Albany School of Public Health was founded in 1985, a unique structural partnership was formed between the University at Albany and the NYS Department of Health, two large state agencies with a shared vision for integrating academics, research and practice to train future public health leaders. The existence of this partnership provides the foundation for the successful attainment of our vision and it allows for the development of creative collaborations that integrate basic and applied research, public health practice, quality education, and training.

The School will work toward this vision by emphasizing the following themes:

  • Fostering creative interdisciplinary research collaborations and partnerships to address emerging public health problems
  • Promoting excellence in education and training by integrating academics with extraordinary practice opportunities
  • Promoting participatory community-based approaches to the prevention of chronic illness across the life course
  • Improving health care services and outcomes throughout the state
  • Enhancing the capacity of current public health professionals and infrastructure to respond to public health challenges through specialized training and educational opportunities designed to address the evolving needs of the public health system
  • Promoting the importance of the basic sciences in developing solutions to emerging public health problems, through the research conducted at the Center for Cancer Genomics and at the Wadsworth Center, NYS Department of Health
  • Training and empowering public health leaders throughout the region to more effectively direct the work of public health practice

The Values of the School of Public Health

The University at Albany School of Public Health embraces the core strategic values that have been identified by the University at Albany: Engaged Learning; Discovery; Societal Responsibility; Technological Innovation; and Distinctiveness. A continued focus on these strategic values enables the School to fulfill its stated mission of providing quality education, research, service and leadership aimed at improving public health and eliminating health disparities locally, nationally and globally.

SPH Strategic Values

Engaged Learning - The School of Public Health is dedicated to offering the finest academic and professional public health education available through a unique partnership model that employs a core full-time University faculty, supported by a significant number of part-time faculty drawn from the ranks of the New York State Department of Health, the Albany Medical College, and other professional schools throughout the region. This model will continue to provide our students with unparalleled opportunities for real-world internships and research assistantships, working under the close supervision of some of the top public health researchers and policy-makers in the nation. Additionally, we remain committed to the goal of expanding opportunities for our professional public health colleagues to continue their education and professional development, helping to strengthen the public health infrastructure where it is closest to those it serves.

Discovery - The School of Public Health is dedicated to the principle that our learning and teaching continues to be informed by the scientific basis of public health. Our students will be continually challenged to master research skills and methods that will enable them to conduct sound and ethical research as well as to evaluate the research of others, and our faculty will continue to be supported in their research as they make significant contributions to the body of public health knowledge. We pledge to seek out new opportunities for relevant and meaningful research and practice internships for our students and to expand our efforts to implement community-based participatory research.

Societal Responsibility - The School of Public Health is committed to the public health orientation of improving the health of our communities - whether these be local, national or global. We will continue to seek out service opportunities and collaborations with external partners, including community-based organizations and local health departments that will enable this School to be responsive to the needs of those we serve. We are committed to the concept of an academic community that is committed to the ideals of justice and ethical behavior. We fully embrace diversity in our academic community and in society, and affirm that diversity adds significantly to our cultural competency and our understanding of public health.

Technological Innovation - The School of Public Health is committed to ensuring that faculty, staff and students will continue to have access to state-of-the-art public health research laboratories and teaching technologies that will enhance the learning and research environment for students and faculty alike. Furthermore, the School is dedicated to continuing to employ emerging new learning technologies (e.g., videoconferencing, satellite broadcasts, web-based learning, video streaming, "smart" classrooms, etc.) in ways that will enable us to share our knowledge with our public health colleagues and others in underserved communities throughout the state, region and nation.

Distinctiveness - The School of Public Health is dedicated to excellence through the continued development of a professional graduate school that is distinctive within the State University system, within the northeast region, and among other Schools of Public Health. The unique partnership model that is at the heart of this School's distinctiveness will continue to be nurtured and strengthened. The School will continue to host and support the work of the Northeast Regional Public Health Leadership Institute as a means of strengthening the School's involvement with the professional public health leadership throughout the region. The School will employ the resources of its research centers to advance the goals of public health organizations throughout the region, and will seek out new opportunities for collaboration that will enhance public awareness of emerging public health challenges and responsibilities, as well as this School's role in responding to these.

These core strategic values are operationalized by means of publicizing these values, together with the School's mission statement, in the School's orientation handbook, the School's web site, the School's recruitment materials, and posting them in prominent locations throughout the School. Additionally, these values, together with the School's mission and vision statements, are reviewed periodically by the School's Advisory Committee, the School Council, the Graduate Student Organization, and in School wide retreats that include all these school constituencies, including alumni and community group representatives. The School of Public Health considers this statement of strategic values to be a set of broad principles to which the School community is committed, but which can be enhanced and expanded as required by the changing demands of the public health profession and the communities that we serve.