The founding of the College of Public Health blended new initiatives with long-established programs at the University of Iowa. The college’s roots originate in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health and the Graduate Program in Hospital and Health Administration, both formerly based in the UI College of Medicine. On July 1, 1999, these units were transitioned into the new College of Public Health. Today the college is composed of five departments: biostatistics, community and behavioral health, epidemiology, health management and policy, and occupational and environmental health.
The college builds on a rich tradition of public health teaching, research, and service that dates back to 1885 at the University of Iowa. Over the years, university entities such as the State Bacteriological Laboratory (now the University Hygienic Laboratory) and the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health helped to address many of the most pressing public health needs in Iowa, including the control of communicable diseases, the safety of water and milk supplies, the health and safety of farmers and others living in rural areas, surveillance of cancer and birth defects, and emergency sanitation needs.
The training of graduates for leadership roles in all types of health care settings also has been part of the university’s commitment to public health, a role fulfilled by the four health science colleges as well as specialty training programs like the Graduate Program in Hospital and Health Administration.
The College of Public Health provides an educational and research focus to the many public health efforts taking place at the university. Building on these traditions and forging new collaborative arrangements on campus and throughout Iowa, the College of Public Health seeks to become a leading state-supported school of public health and to promote global leadership in the area of rural public health.