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‘We thought it was a ‘win-win’ | Mississippi College, Jackson State University team up to tackle public health

(10/11 NOW)
Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 1:19 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Two local schools are teaming up to fight public health in Mississippi.

Mississippi College and Jackson State are getting a $5 million federal grant to fund public health programs and training and both schools.

Public health is the science of protecting people’s health and their communities.

It’s done by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and preventing infectious diseases.

MC will receive $2.25 million of the grant.

It includes $1.5 million for support of the students in the first three years of the Bachelor of Public Health program.

The program will create a new degree offered through the MC School of Nursing.

Dr. Keith Elder, provost and executive vice president at MC, said the collaboration with JSU came about because of the demand.

“The needs of Mississippi, particularly in the area of public health, are great,” Elder said. “Individually, we know we can accomplish a great deal, but by bringing MC and JSU together and sharing our resources, we will be able to do so much more.”

Dr. Brandi L. Newkirk-Turner, associate provost and professor in the College of Health Sciences at JSU, called the partnership a “wonderful opportunity” to influence positive change in Mississippi.

“We were very interested in partnering Jackson State, an HBU (Historically Black University), and MC, a Christian private university, together in a relationship that guarantees to bring together people of different backgrounds,” she said. “We thought it was a ‘win-win.’

The grant’s professional initiative will provide pathways for individuals already in the public health workforce to earn their certificate or M.P.H. at Jackson State.

They could then return to the workforce.

Students who receive their undergraduate degrees in public health from either institution will enroll in the Master of Public Health program at Jackson State, which can springboard them to a doctorate degree in the discipline, also offered at JSU.

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