Welcome! On behalf of the Hudson College of Public Health faculty, students and staff, I want to thank you for your interest in becoming a public health professional through one of our accredited educational programs. This has been a year of fresh starts and new beginnings for many of us. Our College has been very busy over the last two years helping with COVID-19 research and response efforts across Oklahoma. Our incredible faculty and students played key roles in testing and vaccination sites on our campuses and in local communities.
We are excited about new additions to our College. One of the biggest changes is that we now have a Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) degree on the OU Norman campus. The program was launched in the fall of 2018 and is offered jointly by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Hudson College of Public Health. I’m proud to say that we graduated eleven BPH students in May 2022. Our faculty and staff are excited to grow the program and increase interest in public health among undergraduate students.
In 2021, we established the Hudson College of Public Health Center for Public Health Practice. The Center is focused on strengthening and expanding existing partnerships with federal, state, and local health agencies, as well as developing partnerships with community-based organizations and philanthropic groups. Specifically, the Center is emphasizing multi-disciplinary, interprofessional, and multisector collaborations.
I’d also like to announce the recent creation of the Sovereignty, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (SEDI) Office within the Hudson College of Public Health. Not only are these values a cornerstone of our academic health system, but they are also central to public health. The SEDI Office will build on our commitment to cultivate a welcoming environment for everyone by providing resources and support to faculty, staff, and students.
In August, Dr. Gary Raskob was named the Senior Vice President and Provost at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. As he transitioned from his work at the Hudson College of Public Health, I was honored to be asked to step in as the Interim Dean. This position comes with a great deal of opportunity during a critical time for the public health field.
Needless to say, we learned a lot over the last two years. We came together as a global community to develop testing and vaccines with unprecedented speed and collaboration. As the Chief Covid-19 Officer for the University of Oklahoma, I am proud of the exceptional work that we have accomplished across all three campuses.
At the Hudson College of Public Health, our faculty and researchers are on the cutting edge of transmission modeling, data collection, and disease surveillance. Yet, many of us witnessed firsthand the misinformation that infected our communities and the resulting backlash against public health measures—like masking and vaccinations—in our state and throughout the Nation. This was tough, and at times it felt like an uphill battle. However, we learned from our experiences. I’m a firm believer that we will recover public trust in our field and rebuild the public health workforce through education, innovation, and leadership.
As we look to the future, I would like to thank you all for helping us continue to provide exemplary public health education to our undergraduate students in Norman and graduate students in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. We are grateful for the generosity of our current and past donors who realize investing in these talented students is an investment in the future of public health. Our College looks forward to continuing to provide enhanced training and exceptional research opportunities to students as we grow and strengthen the public health workforce.
Dale W. Bratzler, DO, MPH, MACOI, FIDSA
Interim Dean, Hudson College of Public Health