Loyola announced a new school to focus on public health at the university’s health sciences campus in Maywood, officials said.
Students can start taking classes at the School of Health Sciences and Public Health (SHSPH) during the 2019-20 school year, according to an email from Loyola president Jo Ann Rooney and acting provost Margaret Callahan. Kathy Bobay, a professor in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, will serve as interim dean.
The SHSPH is part of the university’s Plan 2020 initiative, which is focused on promoting student diversity and social justice, according to the email.
“Social justice is an important part of public health,” Bobay told The Phoenix. “That’s what [students] do is try and improve care in the community … it’s important that the students get the sense of social justice because they go out and work in the community or they work in hospitals, so keeping those principles in mind are really important as we develop students in those areas.”
The school will offer programs in public health, health systems management, exercise science and dietetics — all of which are currently offered in the Niehoff School of Nursing — along with a new undergraduate public health degree, according to Bobay.
“The new school will move some of our existing programs out of the school of medicine and the school of nursing in order to put them in a school where they’ll be more visible to future students,” Bobay said. “These programs, because they’re not nursing or medicine, kind of get lost in the bigger school, so being in a school of health sciences makes a lot of sense to do that and it will also give them room to expand.”
In an emailed statement to The Phoenix, Callahan said the program is meant to accommodate an evolving society.
“This is an exciting initiative that will help foster innovative integrated health care delivery as society’s needs grow,” the statement said. “We look forward to sharing more details with the community during the year as we plan and implement during the 2018-19 academic year, and to celebrating with all Loyolans the opening in 2019.”
Rooney didn’t respond to The Phoenix’s request for comment at the time of publication.