NORTH MANCHESTER — The rising demand for professionals who can understand health issues affecting communities of people has led to Manchester University’s creation of a new major to help meet that need, according to a news release from the university.
In population health, which begins in fall 2020, students will learn how to gather, interpret and use health information to empower people and organizations to prevent disease and advocate for a better quality of life for all. They will learn how to understand community, state, national and global health issues in order to bring about positive societal change through disease prevention and health interventions.
Population health integrates interdisciplinary concepts and skills from the social and natural sciences to address societal health in ways that are both equitable and cost-effective. It combines elements from several related majors: health communication, global health and health promotion.
The population health major directly aligns with Manchester’s mission to “graduate persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.”
The major explores how culture influences health and how health relates to education, poverty and equity. A hands-on internship or an immersive practicum in the health sciences is an important requirement of the new major.
Population health majors can build skills that lead to such careers as chronic disease health educator, clinical research coordinator, clinical researcher, crisis intake specialist, disaster relief support technician, environmental health specialist, health communication specialist, health department administrator, health finance manager, health professional, health services manager, nutritionist, patient navigator, public policy analyst and worksite wellness coordinator.
Faculty members Jeff Osborne and Jeff Beer are leading this new major.