By Dr. Lisa Fanelli, Program Director of Health Science and Public Health, Associate Professor of Public Health
The impact that the pandemic had on our daily lives is immeasurable. Aside from the protocols and policies that were influenced by COVID 19, the way people think about their health, especially as it relates to their community and the world at large, has shifted. People have become more conscientious about disease prevention and overall wellness.
While focusing on these matters is important, there are still many public health concerns that aren’t as widely addressed. From the far-reaching effects of the opioid epidemic to healthcare inequity, public health professionals have never been in higher demand. Through their work with local communities, as well as public and private organizations, public health leaders play an invaluable role in combatting key issues such as the mental health crisis, food insecurity, widespread health misinformation, e-cigarette use, and more.
Despite the prevalence of these issues and the subsequent demand for public health experts the field is experiencing a severe personnel shortage. The urgent need for public health professionals has been a growing concern for some time, and with that need comes great opportunity for a new generation to lead the way.
A Problem for Public Health Employers
In 2008, the Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health warned that unless institutions could triple student enrollment, our country would face a massive shortage of public health workers by 2020.
The effects of this shortage can be seen right here in Connecticut. In a state where issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are a widespread concern, we face a desperate need for professionals who can aid, inform, and facilitate changes in public health. In May of 2022, there were at least 188 public health positions available in Hartford County alone.
An Opportunity for Public Health Students
In an unexpected way, the personnel shortage has made it the perfect time to pursue a degree in Public Health. For one thing, public health workers can enjoy career flexibility. The breadth of opportunities available is vast, with positions ranging from research to community outreach. Furthermore, public health professionals can work for a wide variety of employers, including state organizations, major hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, and more.
Thanks to a new grant, Goodwin Public Health students may be eligible for a $10,000 yearly scholarship towards a degree in Public Health. Goodwin University received a $1.5 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This three-year-long program will provide undergraduate Public Health students with $10,000 per year for their coursework — helping them prepare for a fulfilling career while saving money on their education.
Goodwin Does Things Differently
Aside from the HRSA grant, why study at Goodwin? For one thing, our Bachelor of Science in Public Health program offers a well-established curriculum with strong ties to the local community. Between our expert faculty’s robust instruction and our statewide connections, you will graduate with a thorough understanding of the field. Throughout your studies, you will gain an advanced understanding of key concepts related to:
- Environmental health
- Global health
- Health informatics
- Local, state, federal and global public health systems
- Public health policy and administration
- And more
Better still, the HRSA Grant is not the only way Goodwin University can help fund your education. As a university dedicated to access and equity, we offer flexible, individualized financial aid packages to qualifying students — making a career in public health even more affordable and achievable.
Prepare for Success as a Public Health Professional
At Goodwin University, our BSPH program has a proven history of leading students into rewarding roles in public health. With a BS in Public Health, graduates enjoy flexible career opportunities with high earning potential. Some professional paths include:
- Community health worker
- Disaster preparedness coordinator
- Environmental health specialist
- Health educator
- Health promotions specialist
- Public health program coordinator
- Research assistant
Rather than immediately entering a career, some BSPH graduates choose to continue their education by pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health. By obtaining their MPH, students can enjoy more leadership opportunities, greater career flexibility, and higher earning potential.
HRSA, Goodwin, and You
HRSA isn’t just funding our future Public Health professionals — it is also enriching the degree program itself. The HRSA Grant has funded more staff and consultants to help set up new practicum sites — creating a richer variety of opportunities for our students.
And it doesn’t end there. We are also excited to present two new courses: Social & Behavioral Aspects of Public Health and Issues of Diversity & Equity in Public Health. Moreover, the HRSA Grant has helped Goodwin develop a Health Informatics track, build a 4+1 accelerated program between the undergraduate and graduate levels, and establish a tracking system for practicum placement, employment, and enrollment in the Master’s in Public Health program.
By using some of our HRSA funds to enhance the Public Health program, we will better prepare our students to face the unique and pressing challenges that face the field today. Now, more than ever, we need dedicated and compassionate public health workers who understand the complex problems facing Connecticut’s diverse communities. When you earn your BSPH or MPH at Goodwin, you prepare to secure a fulfilling and well-paying career while becoming the public health professional your community needs.
To learn more about Goodwin’s University’s Public Health program and to find out if you may be eligible for this scholarship opportunity, contact us today!
Dr. Lisa Fanelli is the Program Director and an Associate Professor of Public Health at Goodwin University. An experienced instructor and leader, Dr. Fanelli previously served as a faculty member and clinical education director at Quinnipiac University, and she holds certifications in Universal Design for Learning and is a Credentialed Leader in Academia. Also having worked as a direct care-provider, Dr. Fanelli has extensive clinical experience working as an Occupational Therapist. She has published works on Occupational Therapy, Universal Design for Learning, and other related topics. Dr. Fanelli is a member of the CT OT Association, AOTA’s AFWC Education Committee, and the National Human Services Organization.