Torabi served as interim dean of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation during its transition into its current form. HPER was renamed the School of Public Health in September 2012.
The School of Public Health in Bloomington is the second of its kind created by IU. The first was created in Indianapolis and is associated with IU-Purdue University Indianapolis. Both are the only two public health schools in the state.
They were created as part of the 2009 IU Public Health initiative, which was launched to address “pressing public health needs” throughout the state, according to a press
“The leading causes of death in the 21st century are related to lifestyle,” Torabi said.
Obesity, nutrition and drug use, including tobacco, were cited as a few of Indiana’s pressing health problems.
New schools of public health allow IU to be eligible for federal funding, thereby increasing public health spending for Hoosiers, IU President Michael McRobbie said in a press release.
“Obesity was not a problem 30 or 40 years ago,” Torabi said. “Our ultimate mission is to prevent disease and keep health care costs down.”
According to the September press release, the Bloomington school will have a rural community focus.
“We are going to build on the strength of the Bloomington campus,” Torabi said. “This includes environmental, social and economic studies related to public health.”
The school is currently seeking accreditation, a process that takes three years, Torabi said.
Above all, Torabi said he hopes to expand upon the former HPER’s “seven decades of strength.”
“We have long promoted healthy lifestyles,” he said. “We plan to be a futuristic school of public health.”
His appointment will be subject to approval by the Board of Trustees in February.
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