Our program is committed to addressing public health challenges and opportunities facing Central Appalachia and other areas in Southwest and Southside Virginia. These regions have a rich cultural tradition, wisdom and significant community assets while at the same time facing high rates of unemployment, poverty and limited access to health care.
Faculty and students collaborate with regional health partners to help improve the long-term population health of surrounding communities. The New River Academic Health Department is a collaboration between the New River Health District of the Virginia Department of Health and the Department of Population Health Sciences, which houses the Public Health Program. The purpose of the New River Academic Health Department is to strengthen the linkage between public health practice and its academic base in the New River Valley.
The Center for Public Health Practice and Research (CPHPR), also housed in the Department of Population Health Sciences, partners with an interdisciplinary group of faculty, staff and students at Virginia Tech and community organizations to enhance public health practice and research in the region. CPHPR activities include: grant writing and management; professional development and continuing education; and technical assistance related to program development and evaluation, and research design and analysis.
Our program's emphasis on rural health expands beyond Central Appalachia and other areas in Southwest and Southside Virginia. Faculty and students conduct research and provide outreach to other rural areas in Virginia, the nation, and beyond. Some current rural health-focused projects are being conducted in rural Alabama, Zambia, China, and Uganda.