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IU Communications

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IU Communications

Last modified: Friday, September 28, 2012

Indiana University formally names and celebrates its two schools of public health

Sept. 28, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS and BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University formally named its new schools of public health on Thursday and Friday, advancing the university's committment to improving the health and well-being of Hoosiers throughout the state.

Public Health Announcement

IU School of Public Health-Bloomington naming ceremony

Print-Quality Photo

On Thursday, the school at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis was named the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health in recognition of the foundation's transformative $20 million gift to help develop the school, which evolved from the Department of Public Health at the IU School of Medicine.

On Friday, the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, established in 1946 on the Bloomington campus, was renamed the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.

"The School of Public Health in Bloomington, with its focus on rural and community-based health research and practice, will serve as a perfect complement to our School of Public Health in Indianapolis, and combined, the two schools will play an unmatched role in improving the health and well-being of Hoosiers for generations to come," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said.

Fairbanks School of Public Health naming ceremony

Fairbanks School of Public Health naming ceremony

Print-Quality Photo

The Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health will focus on the areas of urban health, health policy, biostatistics and epidemiology. With its strong connections to the IU School of Medicine on the IUPUI campus, it will serve as a catalyst to help build a collaborative approach to improved public health.

"The establishment of the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health on the IUPUI campus provides the opportunity to collaborate not only across the many disciplines associated with public health, but also to collaborate among dozens of faculty focused on improving health in the schools of liberal arts, sciences, social work, SPEA, engineering and technology and, of course, the health professions," IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said. "The complexities of improving public health require the collaborative approach that is IUPUI's great strength."

With a strong history in kinesthetic and wellness sciences, the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington will focus on rural health, an important issue throughout the state, with a primary emphasis on community-based wellness. Faculty and staff will build upon strengths in social and behavioral health, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, and community-based research and practice.

"Our vision for our school is very simple," Interim Dean Mohammad Torabi said. "We collectively are committed to building on our strengths on the Bloomington campus and almost seven decades of our school's research, teaching outreach/service programs, and nationally renowned faculty to become one of the top-tier accredited schools of public health."

The president cited studies of smoking rates, heart attack and high cholesterol that rank Indiana as one of the least healthy states in the nation. Such poor public health statistics have a negative effect on Indiana's economic growth and standard of living. The schools of public health will enable IU to mobilize and leverage its vast public health resources and to compete for additional funding that is available only to schools of public health, contributing to economic development through the promotion of a healthier workforce and the containment of rapidly increasing employer health care costs.

Earlier this year, the Council on Education for Public Health, an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs, approved IU's request to begin the accreditation process for both schools. The two schools also have associate status in the Association of Schools of Public Health.

To learn more about the naming ceremony at IUPUI, read this news release.

To learn more about the naming ceremony at IU Bloomington, read this news release.