The Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University was founded on the principle of health as a human right and the recognition of the importance of social justice as a means to achieve health for all. The School’s overarching mission is to improve population health through research, training, and partnerships. Faculty focus on many areas of population health, but key areas of emphasis at Dornsife include improving health in cities, eliminating health disparities, and promoting the translation of evidence into policy and practice.
The School is deeply committed to policy relevant to and community-based work that addresses public health challenges on a local, national, and global scale. In recognition of this commitment, Dornsife was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Harrison C. Spencer Award for Outstanding Community Service, presented in 2018, by the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health.
The School has experienced remarkable growth over the past five years and has emerged as a Center of Excellence in urban health research and practice. Under the leadership of Dean and Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology and IAPHS President Ana Diez Roux, MD, MPH, Dornsife has added more than 25 new interdisciplinary faculty, doubled its research dollars, revamped its master’s of public health program, and launched innovative master’s and doctoral programs across various population health specialties.
Several research centers and programs at Dornsife support faculty research as well as practice and policy translation in critical areas of urban health and public health. Academic programs ensure that students learn from real-world experiences by engaging in extensive practice opportunities in government, health care, community organizations, and research institutions.
Centers and programs reflect the School’s commitment to partnering across disciplines and sectors to improve health. Initiatives include…
- The Center for Hunger Free Communities, which promotes research and policy translation to eliminate hunger and its consequences.
- The Center for Non-Violence and Social Justice, which promotes health and nonviolence through trauma-informed research and practice.
- The Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST), which conducts research to address the risks faced by fire and rescue service workers through objective data collection and analysis.
- The Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication, which conducts research and provides service and education in the field of public health emergency preparedness.
Among Dornsife’s programs, The Council on Black Health seeks to have a significant impact on health in black communities through collaboration, discovery, and innovation, working with leading black organizations across the country. The School’s Maternal and Child Health Program is a multidisciplinary group of academics, clinicians, and policy makers who strive to improve the health of women and children through education and research.
The Drexel Urban Health Collaborative works to improve health in cities by increasing scientific knowledge and public awareness of urban health challenges and opportunities, and by identifying and promoting actions and policies that improve population health and reduce health inequities.
Dornsife bridges local and global realities. For example, local work in Philadelphia, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health, characterizes health differences across neighborhoods. Other work evaluates local policies like the sugar-sweetened beverage tax or resident beliefs about Overdose Prevention Sites. Global work focuses on promoting health in cities across Latin America, as a part of the Salud Urbana en América Latina (SALURBAL) project, and trains practitioners across Africa in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
In all its work, Dornsife reflects a commitment to interdisciplinary population health research, multilevel and multi-method research, practice and policy translation, and the promotion of health equity.
Want to learn more about the Dornsife School of Public Health? Check out their recent magazine that’s packed with stories and research on population health.