The Center for Public Health Practice will focus on strengthening and expanding our existing partnerships with federal, state and local public health agencies. The Center has the following aims:
- Strengthening the training and education of the public health workforce in Oklahoma and nationally, especially focusing on the needs of governmental public health agencies and non-governmental partners at the state and local levels
- Promoting and supporting community partnerships to advance public health improvement in Oklahoma, emphasizing multi-disciplinary, inter-professional, and multi-sector collaborations
- Conducting research on public health practice, and promoting evidence – based public health practice and policy development
To meet these aims, the Center for Public Health Practice will work in collaboration with the Oklahoma Public Health Training Center, also within the Hudson College of Public Health, and with the faculty in each of our Departments and other centers within the College and across the OUHSC. Collaboration between the Center for Public Health Practice, and the Oklahoma Public Health Training Center, which currently focuses on training Community Health Workers, will bring a strong depth of expertise to partner with our State and local health departments in their workforce development efforts.
Gary Cox, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Partnerships, will lead the Center. Professor Cox is a former Commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health as well as former Executive Director of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department and the Tulsa Health Department. He is a nationally recognized leader in public health practice, and a past elected President of the National Association of City County Health Officials, the organization which represents the more than 2,500 local health departments in the United States. He brings extensive leadership experience and over 50 years of public health practice experience in Oklahoma to direct the activities of this new Center.
Neil Hann, Chair of the Department of Health Promotion Sciences, Director of Experiential Learning, and Director of the Bachelor of Public Health undergraduate program within the Hudson College of Public Health will be the Associate Director of the Center. Professor Hann has more than 34 years of experience in public health practice at the State and community level. As a former Assistant Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Community Development Services for the Oklahoma State Department of Health, he provided oversight for 68 county health departments and major program areas.