The Clark/DPH Academic Health Department, that I have been involved in was prominently featured in the Clark University Alumni Magazine in Fall 2014.
The article, written by Jim Keogh, interviews John O’Brien, former CEO of UMASS Medical and current Distinguished Professor at the Mosakowski Institute, Derek Brindisi, current Director of the Worcester Department of Public Health, William Mosakowski, and myself about reasons behind this initiative, and some of the ongoing projects done by faculty and students in the community in collaboration with DPH.
This initiative, based on another model in Kentucky, links the university with the DPH in a way that allows students to gain knowledge about the public health system, become involved in ongoing collaborative research with faculty projects that have been formally or informally commissioned by the DPH, and gain real life exposure, from early on in their studies, about conducting community-based, collaborative research in benefit of the city.
One component of this model is designed to respond to public health questions efficiently, collaboratively, and in a sustained manner.
1. In collaboration with the DPH, faculty use their knowledge and experience in research or topical expertise to design focused projects to answer specific questions that are part of a broader study or initiative.
2. Students then work closely with the faculty to design a study from initial design, to data gathering, to reporting.
3. Findings from the study get shared with the DPH and other stakeholders.
4. Reports and data get archived and are accessible by the next group of students so that research can be advanced with as little replication as possible.
This approach minimizes community research fatigue, and allows knowledge to be used and built upon.
The article in its entirety can be accessed here: http://issuu.com/clarkuniversity/docs/alumni_spring_mag_2014_web?e=0/8422101