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The Department of Public Health will be nationally recognized for academic excellence, the expertise and talents of its faculty, and its dedication to preparing students for practical and academic careers in public health. Our alumni and students will improve the health of communities through outreach, support, and research, reducing health disparities and positively influencing health policy and resource development.

The University of Tennessee’s Department of Public Health prepares and mentors its students for exceptional careers in academia, public health research, administration, and practice, which promote optimal health of individuals and communities.

The goal statements listed below reflect major functions of the department and assist in the attainment of the mission and movement toward the vision. The goal statements are linked to instruction, research, and service.

  1. Instructional Goal: Preparation of future professionals competent in public health core content and methodological approaches.
  2. Research Goal: Public health faculty and students engaged in research projects that address health concerns, contribute to community health improvement, and add to the knowledge base.
  3. Service Goal: Public health faculty and students engaged in community, government, and professional service to benefit populations at the local, state, and national levels.

As a Department of Public Health at a land-grant university, the following guiding principles support our mission:

  • We are committed to providing an academically challenging, state-of-the-art education that bridges and integrates community health with epidemiology, health behavior and health education, health planning, administration, and environmental sciences.
  • We seek to understand the common interests of societies and to promote social justice through focused efforts on equity and fairness.
  • We engage in outreach, service, and research that directly benefit the communities we serve.
  • We respect and strongly believe in ethnic and cultural diversity.
  • We foster interdisciplinary collaboration across departments within the university and with other health-promoting institutions worldwide.

The values ascribed to by the Department of Public Health in its educational mission are also those values which provide the foundation for the Principles for the Ethical Practice of Public Health:

  • Humans have a right to the resources necessary for health.
  • Humans are inherently social and interdependent.
  • The effectiveness of institutions depends heavily on the public’s trust.
  • Collaboration is a key element to public health.
  • People and their physical environment are interdependent.
  • Each person in a community should have an opportunity to contribute to public discourse.


Dr. Kathy Brown poses with two Afican American students at the department information booth

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