Master of Public Health students receive training awards

Document Type

News Article

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School of Medicine & Health Sciences


GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Three University of North Dakota Master of Public Health students have received stipend awards from the Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center for projects they will be completing this spring. The MPH Program is part of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Each of the students will receive a stipend of $1,500 that supports field placements and collaborative learning projects. The UND students, among 20 from several other colleges in the region, were selected because they proposed projects in rural areas, work with underserved populations, or work to support tribal health on a reservation or urban Indian health. Students receive $1,000 this month and the remaining $500 in July, following the submission of a brief final report describing their field placement.

The UND recipients are the following students:

  • Michael Dulitz, from Webster, S.D., will organize and help with cooperative learning and sharing sessions to assist with the implementation of electronic health records in the eight local public health units that make up the Northeast North Dakota Public Health Collaboration.
  • Gaurav Mehta, a physician from Mumbai, India, will be performing clinical outcomes research with data from Native Americans regarding vascular surgery and amputation rates.
  • Kalee Werner, from Bismarck, N.D., will be implementing an exercise and diet intervention among pregnant women in Grand Forks.

The Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center (RM-PHTC) is one of 10 regional Public Health Training Centers funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the regional PHTC Program is to improve the nation’s health system by strengthening the technical, scientific, and managerial and leadership competencies of the current public health workforce. The RM-PHTC serves the six states of Health and Human Services Region VIII: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

The four legislative requirements of the PHTCs are to (1) establish or strengthen field placements for students; (2) facilitate faculty and student collaborative projects; (3) designate a geographic area to be served; and (4) assess health personnel needs of the area to be served and develop training to meet such needs.

The MPH Program at the University of North Dakota welcomes applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds, including the social and behavioral sciences; the basic sciences including biology, chemistry, and physics; mathematics and computer science; and the humanities. In addition, the MPH degree is an excellent partner for all clinical degrees, including medicine, nursing, medical laboratory science, physician assistant, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, because it expands professional opportunities in those fields. Also, those who wish to apply for a clinical program find that the MPH degree can enhance their application as well as their preparation for a clinical career. Because of the diversity of the students, the program is designed for full- and part-time study. Distance education is offered through live broadcasts of all classes.

The MPH Program at UND has two specializations—Population Health Analytics and Health Management and Policy. Both prepare students for the work of population health improvement in the diverse communities of the Northern Plains and similar regions. Understanding the multiple determinants of population health—medical care, public health interventions, the social environment, the physical environment, and individual behavior—and learning how to optimize population health in the region are complex, fascinating, and important undertakings.