Office of Public Health Practice and Outreach

Dr. Wexler and Alexandra Hillman in Alaska

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS) created the Office for Public Health Practice and Outreach (OPHPO) almost two decades ago to actively build and sustain its ongoing commitment to campus and community partnerships that advance the community’s health, students’ education, and faculty research and service efforts. Public health in the 21st century needs these ongoing ties between the academic and practice worlds, and OPHPO acts as a liaison between SPHHS and the region.

OPHPO matches needs and opportunities in the community with student, staff, and faculty interests, expertise, and resources. OPHPO’s outreach work strives to address current public health and health practice issues by working with public health professionals to eliminate health disparities and apply participatory action research principles to community research endeavors. The disciplines of public health and the health sciences are in the midst of rapid change, and active linkages with the larger community are crucial for the preparation of public health and health care professionals qualified to work in this new environment.

OPHPO promotes active engagement of students and faculty with the surrounding communities, making a special and long-term effort with the urban communities of Holyoke and Springfield, as well as the rural communities in western Massachusetts. The OPHPO provides the necessary coordination to ensure that the school develops and supports effective linkages both within and beyond the university.

For more information on our outreach activities, please contact Risa Silverman, risa@schoolph.umass.edu, 413-545-2529.