UW-Milwaukee: Three Experts Chosen To Work With Public Health Planning Team

MILWAUKEE – Three nationally known public health experts have been selected to work with a public health planning team that involves the City of Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and the University of Wisconsin System.

The public health experts are Patricia Wahl, dean of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington; Hugh Tilson, clinical professor of Public Health Leadership and adjunct professor of epidemiology and health policy at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health; and Sylvia Furner, interim dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“The City, UW Regents and UWM are united in our goal of determining how to successfully address the challenges to the health and well-being of our community, including the area’s serious health disparities,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.“These experts will play a key role as we move forward in our planning process.”

Members of the public health team have been meeting since this spring to define public health needs in the region, including workforce development and public health problems; identify existing resources; determine gaps; and develop recommendations on the best means for filling those gaps. The public health team is scheduled to make recommendations, based on its findings, to the UW System Board of Regents this fall. As part of the planning process, the team will be seeking input from local community and health organizations. The public health team has also launched a Web site at www.publichealth.uwm.edu that provides additional background, and offers opportunities for comment.

“There are fewer than 40 fully accredited schools of public health in the United States, and none is in Wisconsin,” said UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Carlos E. Santiago. “Milwaukee-area institutions of higher learning do, however, have faculty and programs directly and indirectly concerned with pubic health needs. The planning team and its committees are looking to establish links among these programs and the health needs of the area.”

A School of Public Health is one possible recommendation, said Santiago, “but, with the help of these experts, we are exploring what options are workable. As part of the process, we are looking at the level of support that exists outside of our institutions.”

“The three experts we have chosen bring extensive knowledge of effective higher education programming in public health, as well as familiarity with the need for public and political support,” said UW System President Kevin Reilly . “They also bring expertise on the requirements of the Council on Education for Public Health, the accrediting body for schools and programs in the field.”