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Phoenix Welcomes First Class of UA Public Health Students

First UA Phoenix Public Health Class

Faculty and students participating in the first UA Zuckerman College of Public Health student orientation at the Phoenix Biomedical Complex, August 20, 2010.

The University of Arizona's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health officially opened its doors to the first incoming class of public health graduate students in Phoenix.

With the distinction of being the only nationally accredited college of public health in the State of Arizona, the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health is now located on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

"Our presence in Phoenix is a natural extension of our growth and a response to the call for more accredited public health professionals working throughout the state," said Dr. Iman Hakim, dean of the Zuckerman College of Public Health. “The Phoenix program would not be possible without the financial support of Arizona Area Health Education Center. Our mission is one and the same, to improve the recruitment and training of the state’s health workforce.”

Another benefit of the Phoenix campus is the development of a program to educate high school students about careers in public health and to work more closely with numerous public health agencies in central and northern Arizona with funding from the Arizona Area Health Education Center.

"My greatest wish is to see every new class of public health graduates working in communities throughout Arizona, the nation, and the globe to improve the health and safety of diverse populations," Hakim said.

The first Phoenix class consists of 13 students enrolled in the master of public health, or MPH, program in public health practice. Working closely with statewide organizations, the curriculum for the MPH program supports the major public health organizations in Arizona, including the Arizona Department of Health Services, Maricopa Health Department, providers of public health and health care services in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area and nearby county and tribal health programs.

"The significance of having the MPH program available in Phoenix will allow us to continue to work with others to strengthen the public health workforce in Arizona. This is a diverse group of students who are from various parts of the state. Our public health graduates are eligible for national certification for public health professionals and ready to step into leadership positions," said Doug Taren, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of public health.

The Zuckerman College of Public Health at the UA in Tucson and Phoenix is the first nationally accredited college of public health in the Southwest and the only nationally accredited college of public health in the State of Arizona.

The college offers an academic curriculum that includes undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees. The college consistently ranks among the top five in American Indian and Hispanic graduates and students among the 44 nationally accredited schools of public health.

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