Message from the Dean

Jay Gandy, PhD

Interim Dean Jay Gandy, Ph.D.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH) was established as the sixth and newest academic unit at UAMS in July 2001 based on funding from Arkansas’ share of the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. The College has rapidly established a broad complement of teaching programs as well as research and service activities directed toward meeting our Mission of improving the health and promoting the well-being of individuals, families, and communities in Arkansas. This rapid progress has resulted in the College being accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health in May 2004, giving the COPH the distinction of being accredited faster than any other school of public health in the country.

Although public health is a highly diverse field, working in collaboration with the other academic units at UAMS (the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Health Related Professions as well as the Graduate School), the  COPH brings three things that are new to Arkansas and to the UAMS campus:  1) a primary focus on improving the quality of life for entire communities, rather than focusing on medical care for the individual or family (known as a population or community-wide perspective); 2) a heavy emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention as a cost-effective way to maintain the health and quality of life for all Arkansans;  and 3) a fundamental commitment to the policy development and information-gathering that is necessary to develop sound policy and environmental changes to promote health and well-being.

Essential to achieving our Mission is what is known as the three core “functions” of public health: 1) assessment or surveillance of the factors associated with the development of health problems and prevention of these conditions; 2) policy initiatives to develop an environment to promote and sustain optimal health, and 3) assurance that all people have access to needed programs and services. To fulfill our Vision of “Optimal Health for All,” the College emphasizes a community-based health promotion approach, fostering active participation of communities in all phases of health promotion and disease prevention programs.

On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students of the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, I welcome your interest in our programs and hope you will join our team effort to improve the health and well-being of all Arkansans.

Jay Gandy Signature

Jay Gandy, Ph.D., Professor, and Interim Dean