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Office of Public Health Practice

The Office of Public Health Practice at Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice provides support for community collaboration, internships, alumni development, practice-based research and training.

Office of Public Health photo showing a discussion
 

The Office of Public Health Practice was established in 2018 to connect public health faculty and students with community partners to help improve academic public health practice, teaching and practice based research.

Definitions

Public Health Practice

Public health practice is defined as: “The strategic, organized, and interdisciplinary application of knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to perform essential public health services and other activities to improve the population's health." Source: Demonstrating Excellence in Academic Public Health Practice. Association of Schools of Public Health (June 1999)

Practice-Based Teaching 

Practice-Based Teaching is an applied, interdisciplinary approach to public health education designed to enhance student competence through practice experiences, broadly speaking. “Through practice-based teaching, student learning is meaningful, relevant, and benefits the host agencies and organizations. “ Source: Demonstrating Excellence in Practice Based Teaching for Public Health. Association of Schools of Public Health (Fall, 2004)

Practice-Based Research
"Practice-based research the systematic inquiry into the systems, methods, policies, and programmatic applications of public health practice. This definition includes science-based inquiry that occurs in practice settings such as field epidemiology, systematic reflection on the practice experience, and laboratory analysis—to the extent that such inquiry produces generalizable knowledge to improve the outcomes of practice or to inform policy making.” Source: Demonstrating Excellence in Practice Based Research for Public Health. Association of Schools of Public Health (Fall, 2006)
Attendees at the North St. Louis Symposium Poster Session event

Attendees discussing public health at the annual North St. Louis Symposium Poster Sessions event.

SLU Office of Public Health Practice Activities

Community Engagement
  • Facilitate, promote and link public health faculty, staff and students to local, regional and national community partners for teaching, research and service opportunities
  • Cultivate relationships with community partners
  • Identify new opportunities for MPH internships, undergraduate service learning opportunities, and student volunteer experiences (CEPH D5)
  • Support MPH internships by helping identify new sites; establishing relationships
  • Create opportunities for and mentor faculty members in practice-based teaching (CEPH F1)
  • Promote community service activities among faculty and students (CEPH E5, F2)
  • Track community service activities among faculty and students (CEPH E5, F2)
  • Create models of community-student collaboration that allows continual support of community organization
  • Manage the external public health advisory board that supports the public health academic programs (BSPH and MPH) by advising the CPHSJ faculty about competencies and skills required to function currently in the field of public health (CEPH F1) 
  • Manage the internal public health advisory board that provides advice on the implementation and evaluation of the OPHP

Student Exposure to Community
  • Identify and connect students with short-term practice opportunities that can support community members Identify new opportunities for MPH internships, practice-based teaching, and undergraduate service learning opportunities 
  • Identify and connect students with short-term practice or practice-based research opportunities that can support faculty
Public Health Alumni Engagement
  • In collaboration with the chairs and program directors, create and manage a system for alumni relations for the MPH and BSPH: (CEPH B3)
  • Regularly survey alumni to determine their current work, beliefs about their preparation, and use of competencies in current job.
  • Assure the incorporation of advisory board and alumni survey results to enhance the curriculum   
  • Assure that alumni survey results are shared with the advisory board so they can provide input for improvement/modification
Workforce Development
  • Provide regular continuing education events for faculty, students and the community
  • Collaborate with the Student Association of Public Health (SAPH) to sponsor and co-sponsor events
  • Collaborate with community members to provide sessions
  • Increase opportunities for providing innovative approaches to training for the public health workforce (CEPH F4)
  • Work closely with faculty and centers that provide public health workforce training to enhance the presence of training in the CPHSJ (CEPH F4)
  • Create opportunities, mentor, and reward participation by students and faculty members in practice-based service (CEPH E5, F2)
  • Create summer institutes related to practice, e.g., community collaboration (CEPH F4)
Practice-Based Teaching
  • Promote practice-based teaching (CEPH E2 and F1)
  • In collaboration with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, track practice-based teaching (CEPH E2)
  • Create opportunities for and mentor graduate students and faculty members in practice-based teaching
Practice-Based Research
  • Promote practice-based research (CEPH E4)
  • In collaboration with the Associate Dean for Research, track practice-based research (CEPH E4)
  • Create opportunities for and mentor students and faculty members in practice-based research
Evaluation of the OPHP Activities
  • Evaluate continuing education events
  • Track OPHP activities
Public Health Practice Activities in the College

Contact the SLU Office of Public Health Practice

The Office of Public Health Practice was developed with input from the faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact the Director of Public Health Practice, Darcy Scharff, Ph.D.. Visit us on Facebook