Topeka A reorganization effort by the Kansas University Medical Center will result in a new School of Public Health — and a healthier Kansas, officials say.
The proposal will be before the Kansas Board of Regents for discussion on Dec. 16.
“I am excited we are finally having this opportunity in the state of Kansas,” said Regent Mildred Edwards of Wichita. Edwards, who has a master’s degree in public health. She added, “I think it is a program that will be well-received in our student population.”
KU officials say the new school will expand public health outreach in the state and help the university compete for more funding.
“This process has evolved over years,” said Allen Rawitch, vice chancellor of academic affairs at KU Medical Center.
The proposal will take four departments to form the core of the School of Public Health: preventive medicine and public health in Kansas City, Kan.; preventive medicine and public health in Wichita; biostatistics; and health policy and management.
Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor of the KU Medical Center, said the creation of the school within Kansas “is a step to assuring an adequate supply of public health providers and scientists and ultimately to enhancing the health and well-being of our citizens.”
The proposed school can be formed without new state resources, she said.
“New funding from private sources and endowments will be sought to recruit a dean, a few key faculty and other required administrative personnel. Otherwise, reorganization, including any necessary realignment of faculty positions, to form the school will be supported through internal budget reallocations under the direction of the chancellor and executive vice chancellor,” she said in a memo.