Dean's Office

Donna J. Petersen, ScD, MHS, CPH
Donna J. Petersen

Dean's Message

Our practice is our passion.  You’ll see this message in nearly every communication from the USF College of Public Health because it’s true.  We are well-into the fall semester and evidence abounds to support this statement.  Newly enrolled students joined in a redesigned orientation that got them on their feet, challenged them to advocate for the issues that brought them to public health and created lots of opportunities for happy introductions and interactions.  Returning students joined in a “warm welcome” designed to further engage new students with each other and with their more seasoned colleagues.  New inter-professional education opportunities encourage public health students to join with their health professions colleagues from across USF Health exploring the myriad ways we individually and collectively improve health in the communities we serve.  And as we expand an ever-growing cadre of community partners, students join in efforts to promote, protect and preserve health whether it’s around food insecurity, human trafficking, hurricane preparedness or environmental challenges like red tide.

Our faculty continue to practice their passions and this fall were joined by several new scholars and professionals who are tackling some of the most pressing human health and environmental challenges of our time.   Together they are also designing new educational programs and models to prepare professionals for these challenges as well as those of tomorrow.  A new program in health coaching prepares students to join new health care teams, helping patients navigate complex health systems while making the systems themselves more effective and efficient.  An innovative program for doctoral students joins PhD and DrPH students in common courses that facilitate the exchange of ideas around practice-informed research and research that improves practice.    And our fabulous staff have joined in efforts to facilitate our new organizational structure creating administrative support hubs with spokes to dedicated experts in functional areas important to students, faculty, alumni and the communities we serve.

Come join the USF College of Public Health and practice your passion!

Donna J. Petersen, ScD, MHS, CPH
Welcome from Dean Peterson