Saint Louis University

Elder to serve as Chair of Health Management & Policy, Zink appointed to associate professor


Keith Elder, PhD, MPH, MPA 

Department of Health Management & Policy Chair
Starts Jan. 1, 2013


Keith Elder, PhD, MPH, MPA currently serving as an associate professor in the Department of Health Management & Policy and as the director of Health Policy, has accepted the position of Chair of the Department of Health Management & Policy, beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

Elder has considerable experience in both teaching and in a wide variety of public health issues, including work to improve health outcomes and mitigate the burden of disease in vulnerable and underserved populations.

Elder received his, B.S. (psychology), his M.P.H. (health care organization and policy), and his M.P.A. (organizational development) from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and his Ph.D. (Health Policy) from the University of Maryland.

Prior to being recruited to SLU School of Public Health to direct the Health Policy program, he was on faculty at both UAB and at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. In addition to his excellence in the classroom, Dr. Elder is an accomplished scholar and author; his research has been funded by AHRQ, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NIH, CDC, and HRSA.

As Chair of Health Management & Policy, Elder hopes to enhance the Department's curriculum to better prepare students to enter the workforce. In addition, he plans to continue to build networks that give students opportunities for employment and fellowships, as well as strengthen the school's connections with its alumni.

Elder also hopes to enhance collaborative efforts both within the School of Public Health and the wider SLU community, saying, "Healthcare is improved when we take a comprehensive approach. We hope to extend our reach to improve all aspects of life and health for the population."

Elder is happy to be continuing his work with the School of Public Health. "We have exceptional students," Elder said. "They have a larger picture of healthcare. I don't think any other place in the country has our mission. We're using our intellect and abilities to improve life, not just for seeking information. I don't think there's any other place in the country like SLU, and I am honored to be here and to serve with the students and faculty and alumni."

The School of Public Health will soon begin a search to fill Elder's position as director of Health Policy within the Department of Health Management & Policy.


Thomas Zink, MD 
Associate Professor, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health 
Starts Jan. 1, 2013

Zink Thomas Zink, MD, currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health, has accepted a position as associate professor within the Department, beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

Zink is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and his clinical background is in emergency medicine. Thereafter he worked in occupational health at Monsanto, dealing with such issues as injury prevention, worker safety and wellness and ergonomics.

Subsequently, Zink worked on health system quality improvement and led community-based projects that dramatically increased the utilization of preventive services such as childhood immunization and cancer screening. His more recent work focuses on Project EQUIPP (Equal Immunization Policy & Practices). Project EQUIPP aims to improve community resilience by ensuring that civilian first responders are up-to-date on all recommended vaccines and are immunized against anthrax before exposure. 

As associate professor, Zink would like to expand collaboration between the School of Public Health and the business community. He hopes that this pursuit will increase awareness in the corporate world of the importance of public health in business and economic continuity and provide students with new and valuable experiences.

Zink also anticipates helping to expand and enhance the Dual MD/MPH program and contribute to other collaborations with the School of Medicine in the area of emergency preparedness. Additionally, Zink will be working with other faculty members and Dean Edwin Trevathan, MD, MPH in the development of the new Global Health curriculum.

Zink said that it is a "wonderful opportunity" to be teaching at SLU. An alumnus of DeSmet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, Zink feels that SLU's Jesuit mission is one thing that makes its School of Public Health stand out.

"Jesuits lead by example and help us muster the basic strength and conviction to think of ourselves only after we think of others," Zink said. "In the administration, the faculty, and the students, you see genuine caring about others-people seeking and using knowledge to find problems and fix them and make the world a better place."

November 7, 2012

Katherine Rands