Welcome to the School of Public Health

Dean Philip Nasca
Dean Philip C. Nasca, PhD

A recent report by the Institute of Medicine clearly states that, “… the health of populations and individuals is shaped by a wide range of factors in the social, economic, natural, built, and political environments”. As we enter the 21 st century, our challenge is to provide insights into the complex ways in which these domains interact to affect the public health. At home we will need to deal with problems such as the expanding epidemic of obesity and associated chronic diseases, health disparities related to disease risk and lack of access to healthcare for individuals and families, the relatively high occurrence of medical errors and adverse events in healthcare facilities, environmental hazards, substance abuse and social violence, and threats to our food and water supplies.

Modern movements of people and international trade have not only created a global economy, but have also created mechanisms for enhancing the spread of disease causing organisms, environmental pollutants, and bioterrorism. The devastating effects of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina have underscored our need to develop more effective approaches to public health preparedness. At the University at Albany, we provide our students with the combination of classroom and real world experiences that prepares them for entering the exciting world of public health.

Public health's mission is to address the physical, mental and environmental concerns of populations at risk for disease and injury. Our school's mission is to promote and improve the health of the public through education, research, community service and leadership. We are committed to training public health professionals to address the extraordinary challenges, to seize opportunities and to develop solutions to some of the world's most important problems.

At the School of Public Health we have developed a unique program that combines the great academic resources of the State University system with resources of the New York State Department of Health. Through this partnership, and through our association with service providers throughout New York, we have created student-centered programs using New York State as an ideal "laboratory" linking academic study with the world of public health practice.

Careers in public health are fulfilling because of their challenges and importance to society. Careers offer individuals the opportunity to improve conditions in their communities and beyond. I hope you will consider public health as a choice. We are eager to describe the exceptional programs and opportunities we offer at the University at Albany School of Public Health.