By Jerry Ressler
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
May 28, 2019
The resurgence of measles — one of the most infectious diseases known — has dramatized the importance of public health this year. Immunizing the general population against preventable diseases with effective, safe vaccines has long been a public health cornerstone.
But the measles outbreak also underscores the need for schools of public health to train professionals to staff the front lines and to conduct research.
That’s what drove the Journal Sentinel’s Editorial Board in 2005 to push for the creation of Wisconsin’s first accredited graduate school of public health at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I was the lead writer on that editorial campaign.
Milwaukee is a city beset with public health problems, from lead poisoning and childhood asthma to one of the country’s highest rates of infant mortality, especially among African Americans. It seemed then — and now — that a specialized school to study these afflictions made sense.
The Joseph Zilber Graduate School of Public Health is 10 years old this spring, and over the past decade, it has graduated 110 public health professionals, 74% of whom are still working in Wisconsin. They work in municipal, state and federal public health departments — including Milwaukee’s Department of Public Health — hospitals, clinics and pharmaceutical firms, nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education, said the school’s interim dean Ronald Perez.
The schools’ faculty and graduate students also are conducting a range of federally funded research. Read the full article here.