Health Sciences Bulletin

Program in Public Health

DIRECTOR: Lisa A. Benz Scott
OFFICE: Health Sciences Center, Level 3, Room 071
PHONE: (631) 444-9396

  • About the Program

    About the Program

    Welcome to the Program in Public Health at Stony Brook Medicine!

    Dynamic Academic Programs 
    The Program in Public Health (PPH) trains people to integrate the knowledge, skills, and values of public health and health management into their careers and provide leadership in their field. The PPH offers a variety of degree programs including:

    Strong Foundations in Public Health 
    Public health is distinct from medicine in both its emphasis on prevention and its focus on populations. One of the hallmarks of our program is that we create a learning environment that emphasizes a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to the root causes of public health problems, while instilling the skills necessary to develop innovative and practical solutions for positive impact. Changing political, economic, and social conditions in the United States and the world make the application of new knowledge and technologies all the more important. In addition to the traditional knowledge, including epidemiology and biostatistics, our graduates leave with:

    • an ecological understanding of the determinants of health – from genetics and behavioral all the way up to environmental and policy factors;
    • a systems approach to solving health problems;
    • an emphasis on proactively stabilizing and improving health among all populations;
    • a thorough understanding and appreciation of the cultural heterogeneity of populations;
    • an insistence on accountability, evidence-based practice, and continuous performance improvement;
    • an understanding of the medical, dental, and public health systems that address health - including organization, financing, regulation, quality, & effectiveness;
    • skills to develop comprehensive health information systems;
    • tools to assess, develop, implement, and evaluate policy options;
    • the conceptual and analytical tools to prioritize problems and make sound decisions.

    Exceptional Faculty and Scholarship 
    One of the many strengths of our program is our exceptional faculty who are public health scholars in clinical, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. The PPH faculty are committed to excellence as teachers and mentors, and many are also leading exciting programs of research, which they translate into the student experience in the classroom, laboratory, clinic or in service to other spheres of public health practice. Current areas of research include racial disparities in healthcare access; sleep health; cognitive functioning and aging; environmental epidemiology; resilience and adaptation in the context of disability and illness.

    A Growing Impact on Long Island and Beyond 
    Our program attracts a competitive pool of outstanding students with diverse backgrounds, unified by a shared passion to improve quality of life locally and globally. Many of our students either work as practitioners in related fields or are in training concurrently, integrating an ecological understanding of health into careers in medicine, dentistry, business, nursing, social work and beyond. The PPH staff work closely to connect students to a growing network of alumni who are public health practitioners. Our alumni network serves as a valuable resource for student field placements and employment. Our students have earned competitive practicum placements and have gone on to obtain full-time employment offers at State and County Departments of Health, non-profit organizations such as IPRO and VIBS (Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk), and university medical centers such as NYU, Stony Brook, and Mt. Sinai.

  • Mission, Vision, Goals

    Vision, Mission and Goals

    The vision of the Program in Public Health is to improve the health of populations on Long Island and in the region, state, and nation through education, research, and community service that utilizes all of the scholarly resources of Stony Brook University in a collaborative and boundary-spanning manner.

    The mission of the program is to promote improvements in the health of the public through excellence in education, research, and community service locally, nationally, and globally.

    The specific goals and measurable objectives developed by the faculty (with feedback from our public health community and constituents) of the Program in Public Health can be found on the program’s website.

    To achieve its general educational, research and community benefit goals, the program trains public health professionals who:

    • Understand the multiple determinants of health and illness including the social, behavioral, environmental, demographic, occupational, policy, economic, genetic, and health care determinants; 

    • Appreciate the need for interdisciplinary collaboration in order to understand population health problems and develop optimal strategies to address them; 

    • Have the strongest analytical, conceptual, and communication skills in order to facilitate development and implementation of optimal strategies for addressing population health problems. 

  • Program Values

    Program Values

    The Program in Public Health embraces as a core value adherence to all ethical standards of conduct and academic integrity. The program’s culture inherently values: beneficence, diversity and inclusiveness, reduction of health disparities, protection of vulnerable populations, the balance of public health with human rights, and community engagement. In support of the mission statement, the program values the training of students as public health problem solvers with a population health orientation by a multi-faceted team of faculty, staff, and public health practitioners. The program operationalizes its values through the following pillars upon which the program stands: education, research and service.

  • Education


    The Program in Public Health values high-quality education that moves beyond the simple transmission of information to production of creative and critical thinkers who will be able to maintain public health's value to society in the future. This value is operationalized through provision of the Core and Concentration curricula leading to the MPH degree, which is supplemented by a vairety of combined and concurrent degree options, the PhD in Population Health and Clinical Outcomes Research, the Master of Health Administration, and the Advanced Graduate Certificate programs. They have as their conerstones the development of analytical and critical thinking skills and and ecological approage to health improvement and desease prevention that will produce public health problem solvers and health management professionals with a population health perspective.

  • Research


    The Program in Public Health values research that contributes to the health improvement of all populations and the elimination of health disparities. This value is operationalized by leading and facilitating interdisciplinary and collaborative research by the faculty and students, including work that emphasizes health improvement through community engagement and community-based participatory research (CBPR).


    Please visit the program website for more information regarding our faculty and research. 

  • Service


    The Program in Public Health values three types of service: Community; Professional; and University.

    1. Community: The Program values direct service to communities. This value is operationalized as advocating for improving population health and eliminating health disparities; and providing needs assessments and guidance for solutions to community health problems, and assisting the public health workforce.
    2. Professional: The Program values faculty members’ contributions to organizations that advance their professional fields. This value is operationalized by the faculty promotion and tenure criteria and by expectations for annual performance evaluations.
    3. University: The Program values service to the University, which is operationalized as mentoring other faculty and serving as members or leaders on committees that advance the mission and goals of the University and the Program in Public Health.
  • Accreditation


    The Program in Public Health (PPH) actively sought accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) since its inception, and successfully obtained accreditation in 2008 for the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. 

    Between 2012 and 2013, the PPH conducted a thorough self-study process whereby we engaged students, staff, faculty, and community stakeholders in an assessment of our program. In July 2014, we were notified of our successful completion of the re-accreditation process, culminating in a 7-year term of CEPH accreditation, extending to July 1, 2021.

    If you wish to obtain a copy of our final self-study document or CEPH’s report on our final self-study document please contact Dr. Catherine Messina, PhD, Associate Director of Academic Affairs, by email at or by telephone at (631) 444-8266.

    In addition, as a fully accredited program, our alumni are eligible to be certified in public health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE). This organization was established in September 2005 for the purpose of ensuring that students and graduates from schools and programs of public health accredited by CEPH have mastered the knowledge and skills relevant to contemporary public health. The certification exam serves this purpose.  More information about NBPHE and the certification exam can be found at our CPH Exam page.

    The PPH has achieved Candidacy Status for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) for the Master of Health Administration Program and for the Master of Public Health - Health Policy & Management concentration.  Learn more about this process here.

    The PPH is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (CHE MSA) as a component of SUNY Stony Brook University.

  • Policies

    Program Policies

    For more information about the Program in Public Health policies visit the program bulletin.


to top