Once again, SGU’s Master of Public Health program received accreditation by The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the independent agency recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit public health schools and programs. This accreditation period is for an additional seven years, affirming the University’s leadership position in the region through the year 2022.
Established in 1999, SGU’s Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPHPM) has issued more than 700 Master of Public Health degrees to its students, both independently and through the MD/MPH or DVM/MPH dual degree programs, which combine to exemplify SGU’s commitment to a global One Health, One Medicine initiative.
“We applaud the efforts of all of the members and partners of the DPHPM for providing a tremendous educational opportunity for our students,” said Chancellor Charles R. Modica.
“The Council on Education for Public Health holds its accredited institutions to the highest principles and values, and that our public health program has maintained their high standards since we were last accredited is a testament to the vision and leadership of Dr. Satesh Bidaisee, and the faculty and staff of DPHPM.”
“The DPHPM has achieved much during its short existence, and we look forward to its continued service to the region in the coming years” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, SGU’s new President and CEO. “The University’s programs aim to help to improve the quality of life in many parts of the world and add to the global health initiatives so important in today’s shrinking world.”
According to Dr. Satesh Bidaisee, Interim Chair of DPHPM, CEPH accreditation will encourage greater scholarly outcomes for faculty and staff through new partnerships for collaborative research and service activities. Accreditation allows alumni of the program to obtain Board Certification in Public Health (CPH), and for students, an MPH from a CEPH-accredited program strengthens their credentials when applying for medical residency programs.
“The MPH program is a partnership with the various schools and programs at SGU through joint academic degrees, research, and service collaborations among all faculty and students, and public health work with local, regional, and international stakeholders,” added Dr. Bidaisee,. “The reaccreditation by CEPH is a testimony of the strength of our partnerships and significant contributions by all stakeholders that allows the program at SGU to serve as a center of excellence in global health.”
“Re-accreditation by the CEPH is the verification of the excellence of the MPH degree offered by SGU,” said Dr. Calum Macpherson, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “Re-accreditation has been obtained through the combined inputs of the departmental faculty, public health students, and numerous collaborators at SGU, locally, regionally and internationally. It assures our numerous partners around the world of the high standards we uphold in our teaching, service and research activities: the ultimate goal of which is to improve the quality of public health”.
CEPH re-accreditation is only the latest distinction for the DPHPM, which was named a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Environmental and Occupational Health, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, in 2012. In addition, the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) and the DPHPM were selected by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a Regional Collaborating Centre for the Caribbean in 2013. The DPHPM is also the only MPH program in the Caribbean that can confer distinguished public health workers and outstanding MPH graduates with the induction into the Delta Omega honor society, the oldest public health honor society in the world.
The MPH program was initially accredited by the CEPH for a five-year term beginning in 2010. Council officials visited the True Blue campus in April 2015 to conduct the official re-accreditation site visit which assessed all aspects of the program and compared the on site experience to the self study that had been submitted a few months previously. The site-visit team assessed the quality of education, facilities, and experience of the faculty and students at SGU. At its October meeting, the CEPH Board of Councilors acted to accredit the MPH program at SGU for an additional seven years, the maximum term for re-accreditation.