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    3. Masters of Public Health (MPH) Degree in Florida

      Public Health Degree Resource Florida

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      TABLE OF CONTENTS

      Like much of the nation, Florida is facing an obesity epidemic. At 30.9%, US obesity rates have reached historic levels, and Florida’s 30.7% isn’t far behind. High blood pressure, stroke, cancers, and a compromised immune system are just a few of the serious health conditions associated with obesity. As the obesity rate in Florida continues to rise, so does the need for public health reform.

      Florida also faces new challenges in the form of rapidly spreading tropical pathogens such as the West Nile Virus. The state recognizes and understands the importance of funding comprehensive public health programs and ensuring that the best public health professionals are steering the ship .

      The Healthiest Weight program is one of Florida’s most successful health initiatives and has brought about several positive changes in public health habits since its inception in 2013, most notably in high schools. Soda consumption and TV viewing time have decreased and physical activity time has increased among high school students. .

      The results are the work of dedicated public health workers who saw the importance of targeting students with healthy eating and physical movement campaigns. You could also be a part of a program designed to better the lives of Florida’s residents, and this guide aims to give you the tools to help you decide if studying towards a Master’s Degree in Public Health in Florida is the right choice for you. We’ll look at the MPH programs on offer, the admission requirements, salary information, job growth projections, and how your work will be making a difference to the community.

      Earning Your Master of Public Health (MPH) in Florida

      The MPH coursework combines research, data, and analytics with policymaking and community work to ensure that individuals are adequately prepared for working in a range of different fields. The work itself encompasses a wide range of skills and the masters’ programs aim to hone those skills. .

      Most MPH programs are two years and require a full-time commitment. However, more online programs made available every year. The online programs take an average of 18 months to complete. There are also fast-track options that allow individuals to complete the degree in one year..

      Accelerated One-Year and Part-Time Options

      Part-time and/or online MPH programs allow working professionals to conveniently continue their education while still investing in their careers. An accelerated one-year option enables students to rapidly complete their MPH in about half the time a conventional MPH requires, allowing students to launch their professional public health careers as soon as possible.

      CEPH Accreditation

      When searching for information on MPH degrees, you’ll come across the acronym CEPH often. The Council on Education for Public Health is an independent agency recognized by the United States Department of Education. The agency looks at MPH courses offered by schools to ensure that they align with the education and health requirements. If the program meets the requirements, it’s given CEPH accreditation.

      Featured Programs:

      MPH Program Overview

      The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the sole accrediting body for public health graduate programs in the United States, requires that accredited MPH programs follow the MPH Core Competency model. Developed in 2004 by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH), the model includes five core competencies:

      Q: What’s the Difference Between Bachelor Degree & Master’s Degree in Public Health?

      With a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health, the salary isn’t as high and benefits aren’t as good. However, the most notable difference is the number of bachelor degree programs offered in comparison to the master’s degrees. In Florida, there are currently four bachelor’s programs in public health, while there are 83 master’s programs. .

      The master’s programs don’t require a bachelor’s degree in public health. Any bachelor’s degree will be accepted, although the people who are most drawn to the master’s program come from the health administration, nursing, nutrition, and education industries. The core features of the bachelor’s degree center around the 4Ps of public health: Prevention, Promotion, Protection, and Population-based care. .

      The MPH programs welcome students from any previous discipline. With 83 MPH programs to choose from in Florida, applicants are sure to find one that suits their schedule, preferences, and workload. Some standout programs include degrees from the University of Florida, which focus on a number of disciplines including health administration, biostatistics, epidemiology, and environmental science..

      For busy professionals, there’s also an MPH in Public Health Practice and Social and Behavioral Sciences, which is entirely online and doesn’t require any campus visits. While master’s programs are more demanding, the scope for projects is broader and the salary is more competitive. .

      Q: Where do Public Health Professionals Work in Florida?

      For those looking to get out into the field, there are state departments and NPOs that work closely with various community organizations. For those more focused on the research and data specific areas, you have the option of working in laboratories or offices for government organizations or private corporations.

      Step One: Know the Basics

      To get started with your MPH journey you need to be aware of some of the key starting steps. The first one is knowing that you don’t need a bachelor’s degree in public health to apply for an MPH. And although degrees in education, healthcare, health administration, and nutrition are beneficial, they’re not essential.

      It’s also important to note that due to the wide variety of programs and the essential nature of the service, the available options are affordable and adaptable to suit your interest areas, budget, and time.

      Academic Overview

      The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is mentioned quite often in this guide. That’s because they set the standard for accredited Master of Public Health programs. As part of the accreditation, programs have to follow five core competencies, which have been developed by the Association of Schools Public Health (ASPH). These five competencies are:

      While the five core competencies form the basis for a Master of Public Health, the ASPH also identified seven interdisciplinary areas of focus necessary for success in contemporary public health:

      • Communication and Informatics
      • Diversity and Culture
      • Leadership
      • Professionalism
      • Program Planning
      • Public Health Biology
      • Systems Thinking

      Admission Requirements

      Admission requirements for MPH programs differ by program, however, the standard set of requirements include:

      • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution
      • Submission of GRE, LSAT, GMAT, or MCAT
      • Submission of official transcripts from all other undergraduate and graduate institutions
      • Submission of a 500-1000-word purpose essay
      • Resume
      • Two letters of recommendation

      Step Two: Choosing a Public Health School in Florida

      There are 83 Master in Public Health programs in Florida, which is above average for US states. When choosing a school, make sure that the programs on offer are accredited by the CEPH. Most jobs in public health require CEPH accreditation. Next, ensure that your key interests and strengths align with the coursework on offer at the school. Also, consider your time and schedule – if you can do a full-time or accelerated program, then you will need to investigate particular schools as that everyone offers that. If you’re a working professional, then choosing a health school that offers part-time or online programs would be more flexible and take away the pressure of full-time studying and working.

      Getting Your MPH Online in Florida

      There are numerous online options available to working professionals who can’t afford too much disruption to their everyday life and schedule. One of the standout online MPH programs can be found at Florida A&M University, which requires students to complete a total of 50 credits and focuses on epidemiology, health policy, and behavioral science. Florida International University also offers a sought after 45 credit online course that prepares students to work with the environmental and social factors of health in diverse populations.

      The courses have been designed by professionals and are tailored to be flexible and to fit into a busy working professional’s schedule. There are also weekly online discussions, research components, and hybrid online and campus work options.

      Step Three: Choosing a Public Health Specialization

      Focus areas are not universal and may differ by school. However, the options listed below embody the kind of specialized education that helps students meet the challenges of the rapidly changing world of public health.

      Health Communication:

      Florida Healthy Weight program is heavily reliant on clear communication between the 550 different organizations involved in the program. It also relies on social marketing to communicate new initiatives to the public.

      Courses within this specialization may include:

      • Leadership Seminar
      • Global Health Communication Interventions
      • Preventing Health Disparities
      • Social marketing
      • Market and Research for Public Health
      • Total of 10-15 credits

      Health Policy

      Maintaining relevant and useful licensing policies requires skills related to qualitative research, monitoring industry trends and health, and understanding state and federal health laws.

      Courses within this specialization may include:

      • Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Low- and Middle-income Countries
      • Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health
      • Public Health and Law
      • Global Health Diplomacy
      • Leadership Seminar
      • Law, Medicine, and Ethics
      • Total of 10-15 credits

      Program Planning and Evaluation

      There are many examples of global health initiatives sponsored by the Florida Health Department. Florida is committed to providing programs that target global and national issues. For example, in response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Florida developed Personal Protective Equipment packages and delivered them to 31 different hospitals to help health professionals respond quickly and effectively to highly infectious diseases. The FDH also sponsored 80 presentations at the community level to inform and prepare health care providers, law enforcement, emergency response providers, and other organizations about Ebola management and response. Florida contributed to preventing the national and global spread of Ebola by monitoring 430 travelers from Ebola-affected areas, examining and ruling about 150 suspected cases, and confirming results within hours of testing.

      Courses within this specialization may include (total of 10-15 credits):

      • Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
      • Researching Violence Against Women and Girls
      • Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health
      • Social Marketing
      • Marketing Research for Public Health

      Global Health

      There are many examples of global health initiatives sponsored by the Florida Health Department. Florida is committed to providing programs that target global and national issues. For example, in response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Florida developed Personal Protective Equipment packages and delivered them to 31 different hospitals to help health professionals respond quickly and effectively to highly infectious diseases.

      The FDH also sponsored 80 presentations at the community level to inform and prepare health care providers, law enforcement, emergency response providers, and other organizations about Ebola management and response. Florida contributed to preventing the national and global spread of Ebola by monitoring 430 travelers from Ebola-affected areas, examining and ruling about 150 suspected cases, and confirming results within hours of testing.

      Courses within this specialization may include (total of 10-15 credits):

      • Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
      • Researching Violence Against Women and Girls
      • Global Health Communication Interventions
      • Preventing Health Disparities
      • Global Health Diplomacy
      • Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
      • Climate Change and Social Change

      Overview: The State of Public Health Careers in Florida

      While there are many positives to Florida’s public health initiatives, such as the low prevalence of smoking, high immunization among children, and low cardiovascular disease rates, there’s still a lot of work to be done in The Sunshine State.

      A large percentage of the population is uninsured, a problem exacerbated by the high diabetes rate and limited mental healthcare providers. Educated and dedicated public health professionals are needed to drive innovation to tackle these hurdles and improve the current campaigns to ensure its continued success.

      There are a plethora of opportunities for public health development in Florida, many of which stem from the income disparities in the community. To look into these disparities, the Closing the Gap grant program was signed into law in 2000 and by 2021 aims to have made a measurable contribution to improving the health outcomes of racial and ethnic populations in underserved areas. The Minority Health Liaisons (MHLs) is another program that links local communities and the Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) with the aim of developing policies, programs, and practices that look into health from a social, economic, and environmental perspective.

      It’s hard work, but it’s rewarding being the one responsible to bring about changes and reform that benefit the entire community.

      Opportunities With a Public Health Degree in Florida

      There are many benefits to living and working in Florida. Besides not paying any state income tax, the lower housing costs, and the sunny weather, the best attractions are without a doubt the world-class beaches and lively outdoor entertainment on every corner.

      Beyond the beautiful beaches, the real pull of working in Florida’s public health sector is being able to make a significant contribution to the community. Doing so with likeminded people who are hardworking, dedicated, and committed to tackling some of the biggest health challenges we’re currently facing, opens up a world of opportunities for personal and professional growth.

      Due to the demand for public health workers, the salary is competitive, the health and retirement benefits are good, and there’s job security. The data shows that the number of jobs available in the public health industry will continue to grow, and so will the salaries. Below you can find information on the job growth projections and salary information collected by The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics on some of the most popular public health jobs.

      The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report on the expected job growth in the public health sector from 2018 – 2028.

      • Social and Community Service Managers: +23.4%
      • Statisticians: +52.3%
      • Microbiologists: +18.5%
      • Biological Scientists: +13.4%
      • Rehabilitation Counselors: +16.9%

      Salary Range – Public Health Professions in Florida that Require a Master’s Degree

      The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics provided the following figures for public health jobs in Florida in 2018. The salaries below range from the bottom tenth percentile to the 90th percentile:

      • Social and Community Service Managers: $39,630 – $108,210
      • Statisticians: $27,550 – $112,300
      • Microbiologists: $33,500 – $102,750
      • Biological Scientists: $36,290 – $93,600
      • Social Scientists- $50,590 – $113,430
      • Rehabilitation Counselors- $24,700 – $58,610

      The Jobs & Careers You Can Get with a Public Health Degree in Florida

      The job postings below give graduates an idea of the kind of job options that are available to people in the public health sector. These postings are samples and do not represent a job offer or an assurance of employment.

      Public Health Nutritionist

      State of Florida

      Responsibilities<

      • Performs nutritional assessments on prenatal, postpartum, breastfeeding women, infants, and children from birth to five years of age.
      • Provides evidence-based nutrition counseling to prenatal, postpartum, breastfeeding women, infants, and children from birth to five years of age.
      • Determines nutritional risk factors and eligibility for potential clients in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program.
      • Performs anthropometrics (heights and weights) and hematological testing as needed on Women, Infants, and Children.
      • Accurately documents assessments, care plans, notes and enters correctly into the electronic medical record.
      • Promotes WIC through participation in community outreach events.

      Requirements

      • Requires, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with the major course of study in nutritional science, community nutrition, clinical nutrition, or dietetics in accordance with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association and Florida Chapter 468.
      • Requires a current/active license, in good standing, as a Dietitian or Nutritionist in the State of Florida issued by the Division of Medical Quality Assurance.
      • Requires travel in various clinic locations and other community partners in Brevard County throughout the day.
      • Must be willing to work before, during, and/or beyond normal work hours in the event of an emergency. This includes emergency duties including, but not limited to, response to threats involving any disaster man-made or natural.
      • At least 6 months of work experience providing nutrition counseling.
      • Faculty Administrator – College of Public Health and Social Work

        University of Miami

        Responsibilities

        • The successful candidate will oversee and engage in continuous process improvement of programs related to academic public health.
        • This position will oversee, manage, and market the MPH Online program including, but not limited to, student recruitment and retention, advising, course scheduling, and extending support for the applied practice experience.
        • The candidate will be responsible for assisting in the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accreditation process and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) compliance.
        • The candidate will administer the submission of timely reports to senior administration and to organizations such as the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) and CEPH.
        • The successful applicant will also be involved with community engagement to promote degree programs and manage continuing education offerings in the college, as well as develop and maintain Stempel College advisory boards

        Requirements

        • A DrPH or a Ph.D. in Public Health or related area.
        • A minimum of three years of full-time academic program administration experience.
        • Minimum of two years of managing and administering an online program/curriculum.
        • Experience in community engagement including assessing educational needs and promotion of programs and events.
        • Strong oral, written communication, and excellent interpersonal skills. Ability to work independently and as an effective team member.

        Public Health Educator

        Center for Disease Control and Prevention

        Responsibilities

        • Participate in the development of short and long-range program plans for the assigned area. Provide guidance and advice on the implementation of public health education programs, projects, and activities related to training.
        • Conduct a thorough analysis of the target audience to specify instructional strategies and instructional media to solve training problems.
        • Lead project team in the development of product components in a range of media.
        • Provide professional leadership and guidance to States and local authorities in carrying out the legislative objectives of extending, improve, and monitor existing programs and add new and innovative programs in assigned public health programs.
        • Perform other duties as assigned

        Requirements

        • Applicants must have a degree in health education, health management, education, sociology, community development, social work, or educational psychology.
        • MINIMUM QUALS: GS-11: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-09 grade level in the Federal service to include experience assisting with developing educational curricula for medical and allied health professionals as it relates to public health programs.
        • OR have a Ph.D., or equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a doctoral degree or LL.M. from an accredited college or university directly related to the work of the position to be filled.
        • OR have a combination of graduate-level education and experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirements for this position.
        • GS-12: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service to include experience developing, implementing, and evaluating public health education initiatives; conducting needs assessments to identify educational priorities and needs; and developing training materials using instructional design and multimedia techniques.
        • GS-13: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service to include experience conducting needs assessments to identify educational priorities and needs among diverse audiences interested in public health education to include translating health education content and materials for diverse audiences such as medical, scientific, and non-scientific.
        • GS-14: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-13 grade level in the Federal service to include experience leading the development, implementation, and evaluation of educational programs training materials supporting evidence-based strategies in public health

        Public Health Resources for Students & Professionals

        Florida Health Website

        The Florida Health website is a good resource for an overview of the various health campaigns currently being run in Florida, the licensing and regulations for various health-related jobs in the state, and information on emerging diseases and conditions.

        Florida Department of Education

        The higher education website gives information about various college and university programs, the admission process, financial assistance information, and advice on getting into the program of your choice. It caters to the majority of higher education institutions in the state.

        State of Florida website

        If you’re looking at moving to Florida for the many MPH programs and public health career opportunities available, then the official State of Florida website will tell you everything you need to know about the various cities, weather, taxes, real estate, and DMV information.

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