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Program Overview

The Primary Health Care & Health Disparities specialty track is offered in an online format. It is the only MPH track that is entirely online; and one of only a few accredited online specialties in the country. This program is based upon the concepts and principles of Primary Health Care. Primary health care is both a philosophy and an approach to providing health services. By emphasizing improvements in primary health care access and quality for underserved populations, this degree program prepares graduates to tackle health disparities in a unique way. This track provides training in the population perspective of health care and disease prevention. Prospective students include professionals whose qualifications are in health care, who see clients/patients directly, or who work or desire to work within a primary medical or nursing care organization that offers patients open access.

Core Competencies

Students graduating from this track will be able to:

  • Assess, analyze and synthesize the health status of vulnerable populations
  • Identify, develop and manage interventions to promote and protect the health of populations at risk
  • Lead and participate in interprofessional efforts to address health inequities with community partners
  • Conduct, participate in or apply research which improves the health of a population
  • Assess and integrate cultural beliefs and practices into public health interventions
  • Develop & apply effective communication strategies across multiple sectors of the community
  • Understand the principles of public health ethics and apply them to public health practice
  • Employ knowledge of health systems organization and health care finance to population based health problems
  • Apply quality improvement and risk management principles in the development, management and/or evaluation of population health services
  • Understand and participate in the process of grant and proposal development
  • Employ techniques to manage human, fiscal, and other public health resource


Program Coordinator, Josh Hodsden, MBA

Program Director, Elizabeth Waddell, PhD


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