As we enter this New Year, we look forward to welcoming new Alumni to the School of Community Health and Policy to grow our support, the Public Health Program and its leadership. The past year has brought with it quite a few challenges and exciting prospects for the future of our Public Health Workforce.
Our nation faced successful enactment of new health care reform, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), another four years of the Obama Administration, a number of measures to improve the Public Health Workforce and several studies to enumerate the Public Health Workforce, that do not include HBCUs but the SCHP Alumni is actively working to make sure this gap is filled. On a local level, Governor Martin O’Malley established the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council and signed the Health Disparities and Reduction Act of 2012 into law, with the purpose of creating Health Enterprise Zones (HEZs). This law was designed to reduce health disparities among Maryland’s racial and ethnic groups and between geographic areas, improve health care access and health outcomes, and reduce health care costs by providing a variety of incentives to defined geographic areas with high rates of disparities. Community-Based Participatory Research is very timely in these efforts and your role is important. On campus, we have plans to strengthen our Public Health Program, increase incentives for enrollment and improve student performance and successful entry into the Public Health Workforce.
So much work has to be done and so much work is still to come but without our Alumni we cannot possibly accomplish it all. Consider that the time spent during graduate school was your investment in the future of our Public Health Workforce. When you graduate we need you to continue growing your investment by giving of your time and your financial support. Each of you has the potential to take the Public Health Program to the next level, and when you graduate, it is not left up to the faculty and staff alone to build this program. We value your accomplishments and your role as Alumni.
Future Alumni, we count on you to support SCHP and to get involved. It takes a village to increase, diversify and strengthen the Public Health Workforce. The work continues!!