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Emerging threats to public health, from unclean water to COVID-19, require experts with knowledge, skills and experience across a range of disciplines–– the very kind produced by Thomas Jefferson University.

Jeremiah Davis, a recent graduate of Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) and Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH), is one of them. On campus, he worked hard to engage undergraduates in efforts to reduce and eliminate tobacco use. The recent MD/MPH graduate was recognized with the prestigious US Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Award. The award is given to medical students who have demonstrated passion and dedication to improving the health of people and their communities. JCPH graduates like Davis are set to be more than just future doctors. His work will reverberate beyond hospital grounds as he addresses health inequities in his district, state and beyond. “I think a foundational public health knowledge is essential to any healthcare provider that practices in primary care in any facet,” he explains. “As providers, we must collectively do a better job of understanding and helping to address the upstream factors of our patients’ disease presentations.”

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MD/MPH graduate Jeremiah Davis looks forward to helping patients and adding value within the Duke Health System. Photo source: Thomas Jefferson University

Fellow Excellence in Public Health Award recipient MariaLisa Itzoe, DO/MPH is just as eager to spark change in her local community. “I see public health as in integral component of medicine and healthcare … I am thrilled to begin serving my patients as a physician guided by my public health training.” She plans to pursue a gastroenterology fellowship, improve health communications, and work with underserved populations as well.

Jefferson’s dual degree options offer those preparing for clinical practice to combine it with public health training, allowing them to graduate with skills and knowledge that will increase their impact.

Jefferson’s dual degree is also a pathway that wins awards. Just last year, MD/MPH student Nish Pandya was recognized with the same award. “Helping children be healthy requires more than what can be accomplished in the doctor’s office or hospital. I knew an MPH could help me build some tools to expand the impact I wish to have outside of clinical medicine,” he says. Today, he is a Pediatric Resident at Yale New Haven Health.

The Biden-Harris administration recently announced its investment of $7.4 billion from the American Rescue Plan to hire and train public health workers. Their mission will be to directly respond to the ongoing pandemic and prepare to combat future public health challenges. Washington will channel $4.4 billion to states and localities to expand their public health departments. The other $3 billion will create a new grant program for federal investment in the people and expertise needed within the country. These efforts will result in the expansion, training, and modernization of the nation’s public health workforce.

JCPH has always understood this necessity. From the heart of Philadelphia, they’ve taken topical matters into their own hands, making profound discoveries every day through research projects by a proactive faculty and enthusiastic aspirants. The college strives to provide the world with more experts with every commencement ceremony they host.

With its vast array of dual degrees, students who wish to follow in the inspiring footsteps of Davis, Itzoe, and Pandya can work towards not one, but two graduate degrees at the same time. At Jefferson, the following options are offered: MD/MPH, DO/MPH, MSS/MPH, PharmD/MPH, JD/MPH, PA/MPH and DMM/MPH.

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MPH graduates are prepared to lead efforts to create a healthier world. Photo source: Thomas Jefferson University

Alternatively, medical school graduates could achieve an MPH degree with the Advanced Standing route. It provides training in leadership, epidemiology, biostatistics, research, health behavior, healthcare delivery, healthcare quality and safety, policy, advocacy, wellness and prevention.

Upon completion, these competent professionals step out of Jefferson and into the workforce ready to lead in local, state and federal health agencies, community health centers and hospitals, non-governmental health organizations (NGOs), schools and universities, professional health agencies, health insurance companies and other related businesses.

It should come as little surprise that Jefferson’s MPH graduates arein demand. . “Our graduates frequently receive multiple job offers. I’m happy to help them vet the offers to find the best match,” says MPH program director Dr. Rosemary (Rosie) Frasso, who is just as passionate about her students as she is about her practice.

Regardless of the organizations they choose to join, Jefferson graduates are ready to lead the charge for a healthier world with the MPH degree they designed.

JCPH Interim Dean Dr. Billy Oglesby said it best during his speech at a recent graduation ceremony: “All of you started with a passion, but now you leave with a purpose — to advocate for communities who need your help, to stand against inequity in all its forms, to find your own way to give back, and to elevate others to join in this fight.”

Achieve your public health success your way at Jefferson. Learn more about the program here.

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