On February 20, 1889, the Florida Legislature established the Florida State Board of Health. The bill was signed by Governor Fleming in response to yellow fever outbreaks in Jacksonville and other port cities.
Since 1984, the USF College of Public Health has partnered with the FL Department of Health on numerous education, training, and service initiatives.
“As the state’s first accredited college of public health, it’s our mandate to ensure the workforce is applying the most current skills,” said Donna J. Petersen, ScD, dean of the USF COPH.
In support of the legislative mandate, the USF COPH is amongst the first schools of public health to offer a distance based Master of Public Health (MPH) program. The College partnered with the Florida Department of Health to deliver this MPH through satellite technologies to more than 30 host sites within the state and country.
Additionally, training programs facilitated by the college’s Center for Leadership in Public Health Practice (CLPHP), Florida Public Health Training Center, and USF Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center have prepared thousands of practitioners in the community and in all levels of government.
From post-disaster coalition building to increasing the capacity of health department personnel to preparing the next generation of public health leaders, the USF COPH Centers are committed to improving the health of the public by developing educational, developmental, and training programs, services, and products for public health workers in Florida, nationally, and internationally.
Every year dozens of USF College of Public Health students chose to practice their passion and hone their skills via service-learning opportunities with the Florida Department of Health. Formal academic partnerships and established field sites in more than 25 of the state’s health departments, allow students to integrate theory and practice in a public health setting. This collaboration benefits students, health departments, individuals, and communities contribute to a healthier and safer Florida.
Today, the college salutes the Department of Health on 125 years of advancing public health in Florida. To learn more about the state’s public health milestones, view historical links from the Florida Memory Project and listen to historical podcasts, visit their website.