Governmental & Community-Based Practice

The UM SPH Office of Public Health Practice is closely tied to governmental public health through joint applied research efforts, continuing education initiatives, and development of Michigan's public health workforce.

The Michigan Department of Community Health and Michigan's 45 local health departments provide a strong governmental public health infrastructure, essential for effectively addressing ongoing challenges, such as preventing or managing chronic illnesses, controlling infectious diseases, monitoring the safety of food and water and responding to public health emergencies.

Simultaneously, the office builds upon UM SPH's longstanding commitment to community-based partnerships, research, teaching and service activities, carrying forward the school's Community-Based Public Health work that commenced in 1992. The institutional changes and knowledge gained during this major initiative have been incorporated in an ever-expanding set of partnerships, programs, and projects. The following are some examples of these efforts:

  • Three major research centers, organized as community-based partnerships, have been developed to address some of the most critical public health issues faced by communities today.
  • Courses at the School of Public Health incorporate work in the field as a component of the curriculum, and engage community partners in teaching.
  • Work opportunities enable a growing number of students to incorporate learning in community settings with classroom learning.
  • Linkages have been established and are being strengthened between the School of Public Health's community-based partnership activities and those of other University of Michigan units addressing issues of community health and well-being.
  • Long-term partnership relationships have been developed with over 20 community-based organizations serving a broad diversity of populations and reflecting a wide variety of approaches to public health. Rather than viewing these partnerships as short-term relationships dependent upon specific, time-limited grants, we have recognized that only through long-term, permanently sustained relationships can the necessary trust and mutual understanding be developed to achieve maximum benefits to all the partners involved.
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