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It All Begins…

After many years of dedicated effort from an outstanding group of leaders, the UTC Master of Public Health (MPH) program received approval to begin admitting students on Friday, May 18, 2018. The development of our MPH program would not be possible without the incredible support we have received from all of our community partners. We want to continue building on this momentum in creating a true academic-community partnership with each of your organizations. As part of this commitment, we will produce 3-4 editions of the “Mocs Public Health Bulletin” each year to provide our community partners with updates about our program, students, and activities in and around Chattanooga. If you have anything to add, or an idea for a future collaboration, please do not hesitate to contact us!

“Choosing the public health graduate program at UTC has been a perfect fit for me! I get great satisfaction learning how to prevent disease, prolong life and provide health services in our communities.”      – Hannah Marcum


Welcome 2020 Pioneers

On Thursday August 16th, 2018, we welcomed 21 eager learners to campus as part of the first ever UTC MPH cohort – the 2020 Pioneers. This passionate group of future public health leaders have embarked on a rewarding path to improve health and combat chronic diseases throughout Tennessee. We are excited to begin a new program full of opportunities to impact the health of our local communities – live better, live longer!

Where are our learners from?
Seventeen Pioneers are from Tennessee, two are from Georgia, and we have one student from both Michigan and New York. Our first international student hails from Ahmedabad, India.

What are their educational backgrounds?
The cohort is comprised of learners from very diverse academic disciplines including Exercise Science, Nutrition, Psychology, Anthropology, Environmental Science, English, Biomedical Engineering, Biology, and Public Health.

What are some unique characteristics?
Our students speak an array of languages including Gujarati, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish and Urdu. Diversity: 47.6% of the cohort is from ethnic & racial minority groups.


Learning in the Field!

Only a few months into their first semester, our learners have experienced public health through an array of activities outside of the classroom!

The 16th Annual Minority Health Fair
More than 4,000 people attended the 16th Annual Minority Health Fair (MHF) on Saturday August, 18th 2018 at the Chattanooga East Gate Mall. Participating in the MHF only two days after our program orientation, the 2020 Pioneers supported community organizations providing health services and education to community members. A special thank you to Chris Ramsey for involving our cohort with the health fair. We look forward to participating in the MHF for years to come as a way to give back to the local Chattanooga community.

“The best part about participating at the MHF was knowing that people walked away with more in mind on how to live a healthier lifestyle”
– Phillip Anderson

Environmental Scan at Amnicola Marsh
As part of their Environmental Health module led by Dr. Dawn Ford, the 2020 Pioneers visited the Amnicola Marsh to conduct an environmental scan. Learners walked the area, took pictures, and discussed the environmental factors that impact public health.

The 75th Annual Tennessee Public Health Association Conference
Ten of the 2020 Pioneers attended the 75th Annual Tennessee Public Health Association (TPHA) Conference in Franklin, TN on Thursday, September 13th, 2018. A special thank you to Kim Harrell for making it possible. Our learners presented their scholarly work, attended various workshops, networked with students and other professionals, and had a special student-only session with the TN Commissioner of Health Dr. John Dreyzehner!

“I found the TPHA conference to be great exposure to the public health community, and I learned a great deal by networking with my peers and enjoying the topics discussed.”      – Haleigh Dunning

Disaster Preparedness with the SE Regional Health Department
The 2020 Pioneers recently visited the Southeast Regional Health Department on Monday, September 17th, 2018. The learners were greeted by the SE Regional Director, Glenn Czarnecki, met the Assessment & Planning Coordinator, Amanda Goodhard, and learned about disaster preparedness from the Emergency Response Coordinator, Robert Goff.

The 75th Annual HeLa Symposium at Morehouse School of Medicine
A number of our learners attended the 75th Annual HeLa Symposium in Atlanta, GA on Friday September 28th, 2018. The HeLa Symposium is held in honor of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman whose cancer cells were used without her consent, are now one of the most important cell lines in medical research. While at the symposium, our students had the opportunity to meet former Surgeon General David Satcher, as well as Dr. Wanda Barfield, Director of Reproductive Health for the CDC.

“To learn from and be among some of the nation’s top health professionals was a gratifying and amazing experience!”     – Robert Rooks


Our Next (Baby) Steps Forward

The fall has been off to a great start and we look forward to a successful year with this exciting group of learners! A few events to look forward to include:

  • Public Health Chatts, an informal chat on public health outside of the classroom environment hosted by a faculty or community member.
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities including the Race for the Cure and Bowling for Boobs to raise money for PHSA and breast cancer research.
  • A Thanksgiving food drive competition across the College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies for UTC students experiencing food insecurity.


Connect with Us!

If you would like to get involved with the program, or have an opportunity for our students, please feel free to contact us at mph@utc.edu.

Please follow us on our social media platforms to see our upcoming events, updates on our program, and much more!

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© 2018 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37405