Iconic Hepner Hall at San Diego State University. Photo by Chris Jennewein

 The San Diego County Board of Supervisors declared Tuesday San Diego State University School of Public Health Day, in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the university’s graduate school, which officials said contributes to a large majority of the county’s public health workforce.

A proclamation was delivered at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting by County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer.

“From developing public health leaders to advancing medical knowledge to promoting health equity, SDSU’s partnership with the county of San Diego is invaluable,” Lawsom-Remer said. “SDSU prepares almost 75 percent of the public health workforce in the county, including our very own public health officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten. SDSU’s School of Public Health has been a steadfast partner during this pandemic and will continue to be one of the region’s most important institutions for decades to come.”

Earlier this year, the School of Public Health was also named one of three finalists for the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Harrison C. Spencer Award for Outstanding Community Service, and No. 31 in U.S. News and World Report’s annual list of best graduate schools.

“Our School of Public Health continues to make a tremendous impact in the lives of the students we train and in the communities we serve while addressing the issues that impact us all,” said Eyal Oren, interim director for the SDSU School of Public Health. “We are so appreciative of this proclamation and want to thank the Board of Supervisors for this honor. We are proud to be part of the greater San Diego community and look forward to many future partnerships.”

The school has also been involved with a number of initiatives related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a partnership with the county to build a contact tracing program, a collaboration with the National Institute of Health’s RadX program to speed up development of home-based tests, and the launch of the CommuniVax coalition to improve engagement with underserved communities regarding vaccination.

“Over the last four decades, the School of Public Health made its mission to develop deep roots within our regional community,” SDSU President Adela de la Torre said. “Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, our faculty were able to immediately leverage these relationships to directly improve the health and safety of our community. By identifying equitable solutions to those who are often underserved by our health system and who were hardest hit by the pandemic, our public health faculty mitigated catastrophic losses in human life.”

–City News Service

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