HC&P Program History

HC&P student Meredith Niess gathers information about biosand water filter use during her practicum experience in the Dominican Republic.

HC&P student Meredith Niess gathers information about biosand water filter use during her practicum experience in the Dominican Republic.

After two years of fruitful discussions between the Schools of Medicine and Public Health concerning the need for MPH training specifically tailored for students with medical and clinical backgrounds, and with strong support from the deans of both schools, the Health Care and Prevention (HC&P) MPH concentration admitted its first class of eighteen students in the fall of 1997 under the direction of its inaugural leaders, Drs. Linda Kinsinger and Russell Harris.

The twofold mission of the HC&P program and its faculty is to provide the highest quality education in population sciences for medical students, residents, fellows, and other physicians, and to help its students and alumni integrate population and clinical sciences into a life course that will prepare them to contribute to improving the health of communities and populations as well as individual patients.

Today, from its home in the Public Health Leadership Program (PHLP) in the School of Public Health, and with continued collaboration and critical support from the School of Medicine, the HC&P program offers its students a broad, flexible program tailored to their needs while creating the infrastructure within which they can master all the core competencies of the MPH, with a special focus on the integration of clinical, population, and social sciences. The program has educated more than 270 students since its inception. Medical students from UNC and Duke, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars, and physicians in UNC’s Preventive Medicine Residency and Duke’s Occupational Medicine Program and Global Health Residency, as well as fellows in several other programs, have earned their MPH degree from HC&P. At present, more than twenty percent of the students in the UNC medical school class of 160 pursue an MPH at some time during medical school.

The program is led by Anthony Viera, MD, MPH, Director, and Sue Tolleson-Rinehart, PhD, Associate Director.