Mercyhurst set to open School of Public Health

In continuing with the theme of the year of the university, the administration has authorized the opening of a school that integrates all health-related academic programs into one.

The School of Health Professions and Public Health, which will begin functioning next fall, will house all pre-health, sports medicine and public health programs at Mercyhurst Main and North East campuses, as well as a physician assistant’s program.

Public Health Department Chair David Dausey, Ph.D., will be appointed dean of the new school, with David Hyland, Ph.D., and Marion Monahan joining him as assistant deans for Main and North East campuses respectively.

Sarah Hlusko photo: David Dausey, Ph.D., will become the dean of the new school.Sarah Hlusko photo: David Dausey, Ph.D., will become the dean of the new school.
Dausey believes that the timing was right for this announcement.

“I think we reached a tipping point with the number of students interested in public health programs where it was necessary to combine all of our health-related majors into one school so the programs could have more visibility,” he said.

The importance of giving the students a significant amount of interaction with people in related programs also brought forth the necessity for a new school.

“We wanted to create a health-applied discipline for people that want applied careers. On top of that, cross-disciplinary collaboration is a major benefit to the students,” Dausey said.

Student response to the announcement is mostly positive. Sophomore public health major Matt Vendeville thinks the school will benefit from the School of Health Professions and Public Health.

“I feel Dr. Dausey is the perfect person to lead this school in the right direction. His enthusiasm toward this school and it being successful is tremendously high,” said Vendeville. “He works countless hours to make sure students and the school become competitive with other undergraduate Public Health schools.”