IU Northwest College of Health and Human Services Announces New Minor in Urban Public Health

By: Indiana University Northwest Last Updated: August 11, 2010

Course of study will be open to students in any major; urban public health class being offered this fall iunlogo

The College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) at Indiana University Northwest announced Wednesday that it will begin offering a formal minor in Urban Public Health that is available to any student in any major. The new minor will consist of three required courses that focus on principles of public health, along with two or more related elective classes, for a total of at least 15 credit hours.

The first of these required courses, “Introduction to Public Health in the Urban Context,” is being offered by CHHS this fall.

Part of our mission in the College of Health and Human Services relates to our commitment to improving the quality of life in the diverse communities we serve in Northwest Indiana,” said Patrick Bankston, Ph.D., dean of CHHS and assistant dean and director for the IU School of Medicine – Northwest. “IU Northwest is located in one of the most urban and industrialized parts of the state, so it makes sense that we embrace our urban identity and concern ourselves with the health and well being of this region.”

The new minor will focus on topics like population health approach, environmental health and justice, social and behavioral aspects of health, public health preparedness, and healthcare structures and policy.

Students take three required courses focusing on the basics of public health, epidemiology, and the urban community,” explained Linda Delunas, Ph.D., associate dean for CHHS and the author of the Urban Public Health minor. “Then they choose from a rather extensive list of electives to complete their 15 hours. This minor will be a perfect complement to degrees such as Nursing, Social Work, Criminal Justice, Health Administration, Environmental Science, Public Affairs, Sociology, and many others."

Our hope is that this is a first step in the development of an undergraduate public health degree program,” Delunas added.

The College of Health and Human Services at IU Northwest is the only such college in Northwest Indiana. It is comprised of the School of Nursing, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the Division of Social Work, and programs in dental education, radiologic sciences and health information management. The Northwest branch of the IU School of Medicine, located in the Dunes Medical/Professional Building at IU Northwest, is also a partner in CHHS.

We believe this minor will lead to new learning and research opportunities for our students that are especially appropriate for Northwest Indiana,” Bankston said. “We would like to see teams of students with their separate interests – medicine, nursing, social work, the environment, public affairs, public and health administration, and criminal justice - working on research and service projects for the betterment of our community. Such projects might loosely be grouped under the term ‘public health.’”

For more information on the Urban Public Health minor, the “Introduction to Public Health” class, or other CHHS programs, please call 219-980-6555, or visit the Web at www.iun.edu/~chhs