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Program Mission & Goals


The mission of the Public Health Program is to protect, improve, and promote population health in Southwest and Southside Virginia, the Commonwealth, Central Appalachia, the Nation and the world by training future public health leaders through learning, discovery, and engagement in public health.

New River bridge


The program, grounded in a One Health model at the human-animal-environmental health interface, will provide experiential learning and professional preparation in the core and concentration competencies, including the functions and responsibilities of public health, and will support placement of its graduates into public health positions.

Faculty, in partnership with students and external collaborators, will conduct public health research that addresses the individual, social and ecological determinants of health, reflects the human-animal-environment One Health interface, promotes health equity, and builds healthy communities.

Faculty and students will serve public health needs through development of mutually beneficial partnerships with communities, local health departments, medical and veterinary organizations, community-based organizations, and other public and private institutions, to improve local, state, regional, national and global public health, contribute to workforce development, and advance One Health.

Students will learn in a diverse and inclusive community and will recognize the unique health disparities in our region and community-driven solutions to address them.