Saturday, July 20, 2024

LSUS and Centenary College Partner to Strengthen Master of Public Health Program

by BIZ Magazine

Shreveport – In a significant move to enhance the local healthcare sector, LSU Shreveport (LSUS) and Centenary College have announced a partnership to create pathways for Centenary undergraduate students to enroll in LSUS’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program. This collaboration aims to streamline the transition from undergraduate to graduate studies and encourage students to stay and work in Northwest Louisiana.

The MPH program at LSUS is a collaborative effort with LSU Health Shreveport’s School of Allied Health Professions, featuring courses taught by faculty from both institutions. This integration provides students with a comprehensive and interdisciplinary education in public health.

“I am very pleased that LSUS and Centenary will be partnering with the establishment of this pathway agreement,” said LSUS Chancellor Dr. Robert Smith. “This will facilitate Centenary students moving directly into a graduate degree program without the need to leave Shreveport. My hope is that this will also result in these students deciding to stay in Northwest Louisiana once they have graduated.”

The partnership builds on an existing relationship where LSUS personnel frequently visited Centenary’s classrooms to discuss the MPH program. This formal agreement will now streamline the process for Centenary students to enter the MPH program.

“Higher education needs partnerships to be at its most effective,” said Centenary President Dr. Christopher Holoman. “In an area that doesn’t have a lot of private schools, we’ve been working hard to build our dance partners in public institutions. We’re grateful to enter into this partnership, and we think it can be fruitful territory.”

The LSUS MPH program prepares graduates for various roles in the public health field through immersive instruction and experiential learning. It includes a 150-hour practicum experience with community-based agencies such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Health Center and the LSU AG Center.

“A lot of our graduates will work in nonprofit settings around healthcare, and others are in hospitals in areas like infection prevention,” said Dr. Matthew Kelley, the MPH program director at LSUS. “They design public health programs around certain issues or get into epidemiology where they track diseases and collect information that can inform public health decisions. Both institutions want to keep students in the area, and that will benefit preventative healthcare in our community as they become public health practitioners.”

Public health focuses on preventative healthcare, aiming to contribute to overall positive health outcomes for the community. Dr. Sharon Dunn, dean of the School of Allied Health Professions at LSU Health Shreveport, emphasized the importance of this program: “There are a lot of underserved residents in our community, and I think there’s a big impact the public health program can make to improve overall health in our community.”

Centenary College has a strong reputation for producing high-quality students in the sciences and the arts, making its students well-suited for the rigorous MPH program. The memorandum of understanding will help identify qualified Centenary students interested in the MPH program and create a direct path for their admission and enrollment.

“All statistics point to the healthcare profession having the greatest need over the next decade,” said Dr. Scott Chirhart, dean of the School of Health Sciences at Centenary. “Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, the emphasis on public health communities is at an all-time high. Since public health touches every facet of life, we’re hoping this provides a pathway to impact not only today’s generation but future generations of Shreveport-Bossier.”

Qualified Centenary undergraduates will receive priority admission into the LSUS MPH program. This partnership not only aims to enhance public health education but also to address the healthcare needs of the region by retaining skilled professionals locally.

For more information about the LSUS MPH program, visit LSUS MPH Program. To learn more about Centenary College’s academic offerings, visit Centenary College.

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