Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

We teach students in the Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Specialty Track to improve public health by working with individuals and their communities. You learn to assist communities in effective action in setting priorities, making decisions, and planning and implementing strategies to improve the public health of their neighborhoods.

The track reflects the World Health Organization’s 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, which states: “Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.” In addition, you benefit from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s long and rich tradition of collaboration with the East Harlem community in the promotion of health and the prevention of disease through the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership (EHHOP).

In addition to looking at community, students in this track also consider individual behavior as a major determinant of health. You learn to influence the social norms that can promote health and encourage disease prevention across the life stages. You learn to collaborate with agencies, institutions, and community-based organizations that influence the social determinants of health. We address topics such as nutrition and physical activity; chronic disease prevention and control; health literacy; health communications; injury control and prevention; aging/health and disabilities, and men's women's, and children’s health. We place particular emphasis on the elimination of disparities in health outcomes.

Students in this track complete a master’s thesis as their culminating experience. Recent projects include developing an accurate record of all pediatric vaccinations given in New York City through collaboration with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; creating educational tools and evaluating their effectiveness in a population of HIV/hepatitis C-infected substance abusers; working to establish an Arab-American clinic at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and developing an obesity education program for the East Harlem community.

Track-Specific Competencies

To make sure our students develop the skills necessary to be successful and productive in the field of public health, and especially in the area of Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, we have developed a list of skills and content areas for the students in this specialty track:

  • Apply behavioral and social science theory in the development, implementation, and evaluation of health promotion interventions, programs, and policies.
  • Design an intervention or program to effect change at multiple levels, including individual, community, and policy levels.
  • Develop a plan to monitor and evaluate the quality, impact and outcomes of public health interventions.
  • Describe the health, economic, administrative, legal, social and political implications of policy options, and provide strategic advice on health promotion and disease prevention issues.
  • Examine the psychosocial, historical, and environmental causes of health disparities in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of health promotion and intervention programs.