It is with a sense of pride and pleasure that I extend a warm welcome to all students attending our new School of Public Health and Health Technology in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech).
Since 1943 the West Indies School of Public Health opened its doors to students from Jamaica and the Caribbean, training them as Public Health Nurses, Public Health Inspectors, and Medical personnel. This School was the product of a mandate derived from a Royal Commission in the West Indies chaired by Lord Moyne in 1938. The West Indies School of Public Health is the institutional precursor of our new School of Public Health and Health Technology today. We therefore have a historical legacy which commands us to determine a higher qualitative and quantitative mission. This mission is necessary to meet the new and complex challenges of our time. That is why the opening of our new School of Public Health and Health Technology could not have occurred at a more opportune time.
Our vision is to build a School of Public Health and Health Technology as a leading tertiary educational institution for Public Health and Health Technology, whose programmes contribute to Community, National, Regional and International Health and Environmental Development in a sustainable way.
The School will have a community health focus, with needs-based training/programme with a vibrant research agenda, producing competent graduates who are able to deliver public health services to communities and countries regardless of the circumstances or conditions.
This academic year UTECH is embarking on a new journey, to build a modern School of Public Health and Health Technology beginning with a Masters course in Public Health.
Our new Postgraduate programme, the Master of Public Health will deliver six core courses in the first Semester.
- Health Policy and Community Health Practice;
- Social and Behavioral Sciences;
- Environmental Health Sciences
- Advanced Research Methodology
The programme offers an exciting array of modules in the second semester which provides for compulsory courses in:
- Program Planning and public health management
- Health education and Health promotion
- Diversity and cultural influences in Public health
At the same time it provides for a wide scope of choices in specialized areas:
- Reproductive Health
- Environmental Sciences
- Child and Adolescent Health Development
- Public Health Nursing
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Health Education
- Professionalism and Leadership for Public Health
- Public Health Biology
The choice of these specialized courses is essentially the domain of the graduate student. The final summer programme lays the basis for honing the skills of creativity, innovation and research, developing the public health culture of evidence based community health practice, a sine qua non, for modern public health practice.
The new School of Public Health and Health Technology will continue to offer undergraduate courses of study in Environmental Health (Public Health Inspection), Public Health Nursing, and other related disciplines needed to meet our diverse Health and Environmental development challenges.
The vision and mission of the School call for greater collaborative efforts locally, regionally and internationally, thus creating opportunities for forming alliances with other schools in Jamaica and abroad in areas of teaching service and research. In keeping with this, we have already installed the technology capability of a data centre. This enables us to join the Global Virtual schools of Public Health thus possessing the capacity for global reach.
A fundamental mission of the School is to actively contribute to the development of underserved communities. We are proud of the initiatives that have already been taken with community NGOs such as Boys Town located in one of the most challenging areas for development in Jamaica and also with the Mustard Seed Communities.
It must be noted that we shall continue to produce public health professionals who are work-ready graduates, with global expertise possessing the capabilities to work as public health practitioners in challenging circumstances and conditions; in developing or developed countries.
Our graduates will continue to have a passion to seek new knowledge, to develop new skills, to be willing to change in the face of new scientific evidence but most importantly to be an agent of change. Public Health presents that opportunity for experiential learning since it is about the struggle between man and his environment.
Which professional best embodies that principle, but Public Health?
I pause to advise students that, as you enter this new phase of your academic journey, you should capitalize on the available opportunities, and make the best of every moment. Start studying early, attend classes, engage your lecturer, read over your notes, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help. We are here to help you to meet the challenges.
Our School has a very dynamic team of Academic and Administrative Staff who will seek to ensure that your stay with your School will be rewarding, life changing in a positive way and inspiring. I wish you all the success in your studies and a bright future in your career in Public Health.
Prof. Winston George Mendes Davidson ,MBBS, DTM&H, JP,CD
Head, School of Public Health & Health Technology
Slipe Pen Road
Telephone: (876) 948-9057 or (876) 948-8784
Fax: (876) 922-7369