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New Dual Degree at WVU Injects Business Knowledge Into Public Health

Morgantown, West Virginia (PRWEB) September 12, 2013

The health care field now requires an increasing amount of business knowledge, which is why West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics and School of Public Health have partnered to create a dual degree program that will infuse business into the field of public health.

The MBA/MPH (Master of Business Administration/Master of Public Health) dual degree program will provide students the opportunity to obtain two degrees in two years. Housed within the Department of Health Policy, Management, and Leadership at the WVU School of Public Health, students will embark on their MPH studies the first year, and then enroll in the MBA portion in the College of Business and Economics the second year. After completion of their MBA studies, they will apply their public health and business knowledge in an internship environment. Upon successful completion of the internship, students will be awarded the MBA/MPH dual degree.

Provost Michele Wheatly is excited by the new program. “Dual-degree programs like this offer our students both the skills and the certification they really need to pursue a career. This program will graduate flexible, highly-employable young people who have had the opportunity to work with faculty across the WVU campus and to learn to ‘think outside the box’ as the best leaders do,” Wheatly said.

“The mission of the WVU School of Public Health is to improve the health of West Virginians through innovation and leadership in education, research and service,” said Jeffrey Coben, MD, Professor and Interim Dean, School of Public Health. “The MBA/MPH dual degree embodies the skills required for today’s public health fields. Public health leaders and practitioners who achieve the dual degree will gain a broader perspective of the costs and benefits of prevention and other lifestyle choices that can provide lasting health solutions for all West Virginians.”

Gilbert Ramirez, DrPH, CPH, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Educational Effectiveness at the WVU School of Public Health, said the rigorous demands of today’s health care industry can best be addressed through partnerships such as this one.

“Population health is far too complex to be solved by single disciplines — it requires collaborations and partnerships and if we can instill individuals with competencies from multiple disciplines, then they will be empowered to do more,” Ramirez said.

The dual degree program will consist of 74 credit hours, and students will apply and be admitted to both programs before starting the program.

“This dual degree will ‘turbo charge’ the skill set of each student in the program,” said Jose “Zito” Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean, College of Business and Economics. “The infusion of business knowledge into the public health curriculum will help open a lot of doors in the global marketplace and allow our graduates to really make their marks in the important field of public health.”

This is the sixth dual degree program in which WVU’s business school has collaborated. Other partnerships have included MBA degrees in the colleges of Law, Physical Activity and Sport Science, Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry.

“The dual degree MPH program provides the opportunity for students to earn two full master’s degrees, MBA/MPH in a streamlined program,” said Rachel T. Abraham, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Founding Director & Chair, CME/CE Continuing Education Program and Dual Degree MPH Programs. “Students will gain understanding of the breadth and depth of public health to integrate with the business disciplines, understanding of best business practices that can be applied to address the complex challenges of health care with the ability to synthesize business and population-based approaches in disease prevention and health promotion and make a difference for the public’s health in West Virginia.”

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