Lehigh’s New College of Health: Q&A with Dean Witt

Lehigh’s New College of Health: Q&A with Dean Witt


Lehigh’s new College of Health
offers a unique opportunity for students to pursue a
bachelor’s degree in population health science. Population health is
part of public health. And it’s really the
science of understanding the multiple determinants
from cell to society. So the biological
determinants all the way up to some of the social and
policy-level determinants that affect the outcomes that we
observe on a population level. We are opening doors
in the fall of 2020 and will be offering a bachelor
of science in population health science. We also will offer two
certificate programs. The first will be
in population health and the second will be in
global population health. But we envision having a
suite of certificate programs that will develop
over the coming years. Undergraduate students
will have the opportunity to take foundational
courses in population health and also engage in experiential
learning opportunities. And if they would like to, they
can go abroad and learn more about global health. So we’re really going
to flip the model for the undergraduate
educational experience. Not only will students get
foundational coursework that will help them understand
the basics of population health science, but we’re
also going to give them opportunities to apply
what they’re learning in their courses in real time. And so we’re going to be
doing that through incubators. They’ll be working with faculty
members, external partners to come together to work
on a research project, evaluate a policy. Whatever it may be,
we’re going to have them come together
for a six-month period and sort of rotate out. I also envision
that they will be able to participate in our
artificial intelligence and data visualization
labs, which will be resources not
only for our faculty but for our students. And I’ll just say
that health innovation is going to be woven
into everything that we do, from the
educational programming to the research to the
external partnerships that we evolve, that we develop. Our students will have
lots of opportunities in many different
sectors, including state and federal government,
including evaluating Medicaid and Medicare, to
the private sector, including some of the big tech
companies like IBM or Amgen, pharmaceutical companies,
and then also non-profits. They’ll be able to work with
the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society. And then finally, they’ll
be able to go on and do graduate work, whether
it’s medical school or additional training
in population health. The College of Health will be
located in the Health Science and Technology
Building, and it will house a data warehouse,
an artificial intelligence and data visualization lab. It will also include a
community health room that will allow
community members and organizations to come in
and participate in research. And finally, it
will be an incubator for students to be able
to interact with faculty and external partners. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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