Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

The Health Promotion & Disease Prevention track builds on the long and rich tradition of Mount Sinai’s collaboration with the East Harlem community in the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. Students who pursue the MPH Program Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Specialty Track will learn how to improve the public’s health by working with individuals and their communities. This track emphasizes community level interventions through a curriculum developed to reflect the World Health Organization’s 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion: “Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.” Students in this track achieve the competencies necessary to assist communities in effective action in setting priorities, making decisions, planning strategies and implementing them to achieve better health. At the heart of this process is the empowerment of communities, their ownership and control of their own endeavors and destinies.

Additionally this track looks at individual behavior as a major determinant of health and helps students develop into public health practitioners capable of influencing social norms that provide a framework for health promotion and disease prevention across life stages. Students in this track learn how to collaborate with agencies, institutions and community-based organizations that influence the social determinants of health to foster the development and implementation of policy and environmental strategies that enable healthy individual behaviors. Topics addressed include nutrition and physical activity, chronic disease prevention and control, health literacy, health communications, injury control and prevention, aging/health and disabilities, men's health and women's health, as well as children’s health. Particular emphasis is placed on the elimination of disparities in health outcomes.

Examples of projects undertaken in this track over the past few years include: working on accurately recording 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 effectiveness of those tools in a population of HIV/hepatitis C infected substance abusers; working to establish an Arab-American clinic at Mount Sinai; developing an obesity education program for the East Harlem community.