Indiana Daily Student

School of Public Health opens new office

The IU School of Public Health has added a new appendix to its school.

The Office of Global and Community Health Partnerships is a resource for creating community engagement, according to a press release.  It will be a resource for students and community members and will seek to increase the community engagement of the school through partnerships so there is more of an effect on health care.

“The office manages all partnerships,” said Erin Cooperman, executive director of the office. “The partnerships help bolster the public health care workforce.”

The partnerships will do more than just provide reinforcement to the public health care force.

Cooperman also said they help students continue their education, place interns with corporations, help the community and work with community coalitions.

The partnerships work with a wide variety of social groups.

“Our office is mainly concerned with workforce development,” Cooperman said. “We work with the Indiana State Department of Health, mainly, as well as the Bedford Domestic Violence Coalition, which helps to reduce domestic violence in Bedford.”

Other partnerships include the IU-Purdue University Indianapolis public health training center and AmeriCorps’ active living coalition. The school works closely with the committees and supports many coalitions, Cooperman said. 

Partnerships with the community have been an ongoing project since the school first started out. The difference with the global and community health partnerships is that they’re very new, so the faculty involved are working on structuring the program, Cooperman said.

These partnerships begin in one of two ways.

“They can come to us, asking for help, then we take it to the University,” Cooperman said. “The other way it can be done is the faculty asks them. We primarily make the connections, though.”

The school also has some partnerships abroad.

“We also have partnerships with Cairo University, Seoul National University and Beijing Sport University,” Cooperman said. “We try to partner with universities that are studying the same things we are, so obesity for example. A lot of countries are having problems with obesity.”

The connections the office makes are of great importance to the school, Cooperman said.

“It’s important that the University interacts with the community,” Cooperman said. “We need the community partners to see how people take care of their health. We can’t understand health without community partners.”

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