Dr. Nina Wallerstein Steps Down as MPH Director

Dr. Nina Wallerstein, professor of Family and Community Medicine, will be stepping down from her position as Director of the Masters in Public Health Program within the Institute for Public Health and FCM Department. After 15 years of developing and directing the program, she plans to shift her emphasis to expanded research and leadership in community based participatory research (CBPR), as well as maintain her teaching roles. This change of position will take place in the summer or fall, 2007, as soon as a new dDirector is recruited and hired from a national search to begin immediately.

Wallerstein will step down after having nourished a vibrant MPH Program, which has consistently received the highest of accreditation rankings. The MPH started in 1994 with a class of 12 students and has expanded to an average enrollment of 60 students each year, with another half of the student body drawn from other graduate programs and working practitioners. Multiple initiatives have included the development of a graduate student public health minor, joint degrees in MD/MPH and MSN/MPH; and the success of a three year Shiprock external cohort with expected graduation of 19 Navajo and other I.H.S. working professionals. Future initiatives in development include a public health certificate for medical students and residents; a PhD in public health in epidemiology and community health and policy (in discussion with NMSU); a potential public health intervention research track within the CTSC; a joint PharmD/MPH; and new collaborations with the Navajo Nation, the Gallup UNM Branch, and others to start a second regional external MPH Program in Gallup.

Under the new director, Wallerstein will continue her leadership in the external and interdisciplinary MPH programs, teach public health in the SOM, and support the 2008 re-accreditation efforts.

She will assume the directorship of a new unit in community based health research, within the Department of Family and Community Medicine, whose intent is to support a Consortium in community based participatory research (CBPR) with internal SOM, University, and external partners.

She will continue her own CBPR research in working with tribes and other communities within the state, nationally, and in Latin America . Her latest article, "Community Based Participatory Research to Reduce Disparities" just won the paper of the year award by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) in their journal Health Promotion Practice. She was honored at the national SOPHE meetings at the American Public Health Association meetings on November 4th, 2006 .

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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