The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health is now nationally accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, the university announced Thursday.
UWM officials said the designation makes the Zilber School the only accredited school of public health in the state, although UW-Madison, the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-La Crosse all have accredited graduate programs.
“Earning this accreditation validates the critically important work of our faculty and staff to improve the health of citizens in our region and nationally,” said Mark Mone, UWM chancellor.
State officials approved the opening of the school in 2009 and the accreditation process began in 2013 with the Council on Education for Public Health beginning its work in 2014. Accreditation includes evaluation by peer institutions on standards in more than 20 areas, including curriculum, research, community engagement, and faculty and student recruitment and retention. Receiving accreditation creates opportunities for federal grants, student fellowships at national agencies and allows students to take a credentialing exam.
“The vision, passion and expertise of many people have brought us to this milestone today,” said Ronald Perez, interim dean of the Zilber School. “We can now be even more effective in pursuing our mission of advancing population health, health equity, and social and environmental justice throughout Milwaukee, the state of Wisconsin, and beyond.”
During the credentialing period the school attracted $9.3 million in federal research grants, the faculty grew to 27 and enrollment reached 87 for the upcoming school year. The school offers a master in public health degree with concentrations biostatistics, community and behavioral health promotion, environmental health sciences, epidemiology and public health policy and administration. There are also three doctoral degrees available.
“The Zilber School is an important community asset and a valued addition to the well-being of Milwaukee,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “Its close partnership with the Milwaukee Health Department is solid evidence the school takes its mission seriously.”
The school was initially funded by $10 million from philanthropist Joseph Zilber, who worked to bring the school to the former Pabst Brewery site before his death in 2010. The ability to work with the Milwaukee Health Department was among the reasons a location near downtown was chosen.