In the College of Public Health Strategic Plan, a key incremental goal is to define a core set of CPH‐wide collective areas of excellence to inform collegiate growth and innovation in research, academics, and outreach for public health impact. Through a process that involved initial submission of ideas from the collegiate community, development of proposals, and review of these proposals, the college identified three Collective Areas of Excellence: Rural Health, Comparative Effectiveness Research, and Community Engagement.
These areas were specifically developed to be broad and inclusive, and to unite and highlight the work of the college. Faculty, staff, and students now have the exciting task of integrating them into the collegiate culture. Some areas of opportunity include:
- More visible branding of our work through collegiate initiatives such as visiting professorships, conferences, educational programs, white papers, etc.
- Transparent opportunities for inter-departmental and, possibly, inter-collegiate faculty hires
- Targeted investment of seed money to support large-scale, interdisciplinary research center grants
- Mature inter-collegiate collaborative networks that may be leveraged for cluster hire proposals and other university-level investments
- Recognition as a thought leader in relevant public health policy forums
- Transparent opportunities for public-private partnerships that garner significant programmatic support for the college
Synopses for Collective Areas of Excellence
Rural Health: CPH is one of the pre-eminent academic institutions conducting research, education, and outreach on rural health. UI CPH activities in rural health encompass a wide range of topics which directly affect the health of Iowans. By advancing the study of exposures, diseases and injuries, healthcare finance and delivery, and health outcomes affecting rural people, we can develop prevention, intervention, and policy approaches to increase the quality of health for rural populations in Iowa, the U.S., and globally.
Comparative Effectiveness Research: Comparative Effectiveness Research is the methodological foundation to identify the most effective programs, policies, or treatments by comparing outcomes from different approaches. The CPH can play a unique role in CER by advancing its methods and applications to include not only medical treatments and delivery systems, but also prevention, health promotion, and policy approaches to improving health. As an emerging national focus, CER will benefit from coordinated efforts to expand the existing knowledge base, and the CPH is well suited to be a leader in research, education, and outreach.
Community Engagement: Working with community partners creates opportunities to improve the policies and programs that benefit the health of everyone in the community. Community-guided and community-participatory research are approaches to enhance the impact of CPH prevention and health promotion activities. Community partnerships will expand opportunities for faculty, staff, and students, as well as enhance our local and national visibility. Building on our existing partnerships, the CPH is poised to become a leader in community engaged public health.