The University of Miami invites applications for Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences (DPHS).
The DPHS is located in the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UMMSM) and is organized into Divisions of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Population Health Sciences, Health Services Research and Policy, Environment and Public Health, and Prevention Science and Community Health (37 full-time faculty, 33 with secondary appointments). The department is a leader in research, teaching, and service being closely aligned with foundational public health values. Departmental faculty are collaboratively engaged in research across the medical school and the broader university community and currently ranks #6 in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding within the UMMSM. The NIH funding ranking of the DPHS is favorable relative to other US public health schools (22nd out of 60) and departments within Medical Schools (14th out of 46). In 2017, the DPHS had over $10.1 million dollars in NIH and other research funding across each of its divisions. Also, in 2017 it’s full time faculty published in high-impact journals such as AIDS, the American Journals of: Epidemiology, Public Health, and Preventive Medicine; Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, Jama Internal Medicine, Jama Ophthalmology, International Journal of Cardiology, International Journal of Epidemiology, Lancet, PLoS Genetics, and Prevention Science.
The DPHS is an innovator in the training of the next generation of public health practitioners and scientists. Current enrollment exceeds 370 students across a range of Master’s and Doctoral programs that are accredited under the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). These training programs include three doctoral degrees (Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Prevention Science), as well as Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH), and Master of Science (MS) programs in Biostatistics as well as in Prevention Science and Community Health. We also offer certificate, and innovative joint degree programs, the largest of which is our highly successful four-year MD/MPH program, which is the largest in the country. Additional joint degree programs have served as an effective bridge to our other outstanding Coral Gables campus graduate programs (located 12 miles away from the medical school), including the Juris Doctorate Joint Degree (JD/MPH), the Master of Arts in International Administration/Master of Public Health (MAIA/MPH), the Master of Latin American Studies Joint Degree (MPH/MALAS), and the Master of Public Administration Joint Degree (MPA/MPH). Department faculty are currently leading the effort to develop and launch new MS programs both within the department (Applied Epidemiology) and in partnerships with departments across the university (Environment & Public Health, Climate & Health, Global Health & Society).
The research and service missions of the DPHS are synergistically intertwined with its teaching mission. Many students embed within the research programs of departmental faculty and faculty-supervised MPH Capstone projects have led to local, national and international placements in over two dozen countries in the past two years alone. Student led service projects also impact the greater Miami area as well as regional efforts in the Caribbean and elsewhere. DPHS faculty also serve as mentors on F30/F31 training grants awarded to DPHS students as well as for students on NIH T32 training programs across the university.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
Support and grow our faculty
Our growing research and teaching programs require strategic faculty recruitment to remedy current imbalances across divisions. Enhancing the racial/ethnic/gender and other diversity of the faculty to better reflect South Florida communities is a priority. Development of stronger faculty mentorship is another pressing need. Each division needs senior faculty to serve as strong mentors; therefore, one aspirational goal is the creation of an endowed chair to sit in each division.
Strengthen and create new programs of research and scholarship
The DPHS is well integrated into the UMMSM strategic research plan, with faculty engaged in research across each overarching theme, and the population health and health disparities bridging platforms that cut across all research priorities. Faculty within the DPHS extend the reach of these research priorities by forging worldwide research collaborations in Africa, the Americas and beyond. Further integration within the UMMSM and the broader University will strengthen both the department and the institution. Visionary leadership is also needed to develop future programs of research that will be needed in response to emerging population health threats. Such programs could even require innovative thinking leading to the reorganization of the DPHS structure especially in response to new UMMSM leadership (https://news.miami.edu/stories/2017/04/new-medical-school-dean-named.html).
Support and grow our academic programs
The DPHS seeks to expand the quality, breath, and overall enrollment into its public health training programs. Faculty in the department have led curricular innovations such as the Learning Collaboratory that brings together faculty, students and community-based organizations to solve public health problems. Additionally, our faculty engage in innovation in the classroom by adopting active learning techniques such as case-based and problem-based learning. Additional work on bringing innovative teaching methods into all programs is needed as is the marshalling of training resources for faculty to adapt these new strategies, with the overarching goal of developing a culture of continuous quality improvement in all instructional programs. Current priority areas for the development of new programs include research doctoral programs imbedded in divisions that currently do not have one as well as the development of a professional doctorate in public health (DrPH). Our doctoral programs do not charge tuition and provide first-year stipend support, features which have supported the recruitment of strong candidates, but additional fundraising to provide stipend support beyond the initial year is essential for the integrity of our program. At present, our Master’s programs do not have a dedicated fund for tuition and travel scholarships and the establishment of a funding stream will greatly enhance program growth and student body quality. There is also a need to develop innovative distance-learning programs to extend the reach of our training programs into domestic and international markets. These opportunities align with the Roadmap Initiatives launched by University President, Dr. Julio Frenk, in preparation for the University’s centennial in 2025. These initiatives promote educational innovation, problem-based inquiry, and a hemispheric consortium for the advancement of research and education (http://president.miami.edu/roadmap/). In line with these aspirations, our department has existing collaborations with institutions of higher education across Latin America and other regions that not only promote research that addresses public health challenges that these communities serve, but that also serve to develop local capacity by training students and researchers in these communities. Finally, the DPHS seeks to develop NIH T32 training grant opportunities that align with Roadmap Initiatives and the UMMSM strategic research plan.
Enhanced service to the community
Our research and service activities lend themselves to important engagement within the South Florida community. However, our service activities are limited and we aspire to be the voice of public health within the communities we serve. Aspirational models of community engagement that we would like to emulate and tailor for South Florida’s diverse communities are available (https://www.bu.edu/sph/practice/the-boston-project/). Such models will draw upon the strengths of each division and will further embed and enhance our public health training programs and community-based research opportunities.
Attract diverse financial resources to the Department
Additional financial resources are needed to meet our ambitious faculty development research, teaching and service goals described above. The Chair will work with UMMSM development professionals and school leadership to cultivate donors and entrepreneurial partnerships that bring additional resources to the department. The Chair will also work with faculty to develop a strategic plan to allocate funds to maximize impact across our priority areas of need, including the establishment of stable funding for student scholarship and travel awards and research pilots/projects as reflected in the strategic initiatives of the UMMSOM.
Significant experience in leadership, education, research and scholarship appropriate for appointment as a tenured full professor at the University of Miami is required. Successful candidates will be prepared to address the opportunities and challenges described above with a track record of success in similar endeavors including scholarship, program development, and fundraising. Diversity is a core value of the University of Miami and applications from members of groups underrepresented in public health are strongly encouraged to apply. Additional qualifications include:
MD/MPH, MD/PhD, DrPH, or a PhD degree with specific graduate training or program of research in public health or prevention science
An extramurally funded program of research, (including NIH funding), and evidence of high-impact in her/his field
Experience mentoring early career scientists leading to trainee extramural NIH or other funding
Classroom teaching experience as well as experience in mentoring of public health students
Experience leading or supporting the development of innovative public health training programs, including curriculum design and instructional strategies
Administrative experience in running complex projects, centers, or units
Experience leading, managing, and mentoring diverse faculty
Experience in global public health research is highly desirable
Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. All inquiries and resumes with cover letters should be sent electronically and in confidence to the Chair of the Search Committee:
Robert Schwartz M.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Chief of Service; Family Medicine, Jackson Health System
Chief of Service; Family Medicine, UHealth
Director, Family Medicine Faculty Practice
Director, the OSHER Center for Integrative Medicine