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Vanderbilt’s MPH program adds health policy track

Oct. 22, 2015, 10:30 AM

David Stevenson, Ph.D., (back row, left) with health policy track students, left to right, Cassie Smith, Sarah Greenberg, Markus Renno, M.D. and Julia Allen. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Vanderbilt’s Master of Public Health program has added a health policy track, with four new MPH students (class of 2017) joining the track in this initial semester.

“Vanderbilt’s new MPH health policy track recognizes the long-standing intersection between public health, health care and the regulatory and payment policies that impact them both,” said David Stevenson, Ph.D., S.M., associate professor of Health Policy and director of the track.

Sarah Greenberg is among first-year MPH students who’ve enrolled in the new track.

“I always had a passion to serve the community and patients, and after working within the health care system I saw the implications policies have directly on patients and physicians. The MPH health policy track was the perfect opportunity to combine my passions for medicine, community and policy in order to improve quality care on a national and local level,” Greenberg said.

Since 1996 the MPH program has provided epidemiology training, primarily to physicians. In 2013 the program added a global health track and began recruiting a greater variety of students, including students without medical or doctoral degrees. The program continues to enroll 22 to 30 students per year.

According to the MPH program website, the health policy track focuses on how changes to public health policy and financing influence service delivery, health care spending, quality of care and access to services. The track is designed to prepare students for a range of roles in the public and private sector, including leadership positions as analysts, consultants and policymakers.

In addition to core public health coursework, students in the new track are required to take courses in health economics, U.S. health policy, research ethics and decision analysis. As part of a 240-hour practicum, students in the new track will work in hospitals, managed care organizations, consulting firms, advocacy organizations, non-governmental agencies, public health departments or other government agencies.

“The addition of a health policy track to the MPH program expands the course choices for all of our students and helps make the Vanderbilt MPH program an extremely attractive option,” said Marie Griffin, M.D., MPH, professor of Health Policy and director of the MPH program.

For more information, visit the MPH program website at


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