Rachel Reimer, Ph.D. has been at the helm of the Master of Public Health program for just over six months, but she’s already shaping the future of the program. One of her first priorities after taking over as M.P.H. chair and program director was to revise the program’s mission, vision, values, goals and objectives. It’s a task long overdue. The original mission, vision and values provided an excellent direction since the program’s early years, but had not been revisited since.
Work began in the fall, with M.P.H. faculty and staff meeting weekly to brainstorm, discuss and tweak the statements. Students and external stakeholders also had an opportunity to offer feedback. While it may just be words on a page to most people, Reimer views it as an exciting new chapter for the program.
“It’s been a really long time since the mission, vision and values have been looked at,” she says. “It now captures what we’ve been doing and aligns with my vision for the program. It gives a clear look into where our energy is going and where our priorities are.”
“This is exciting because the culture and focus at DMU has shifted over time. There’s now much more emphasis on research and diversity. These new values bring us more in alignment with the University’s goals and objectives.”
One of the program’s goals is to increase the research productivity of both students and faculty. Reimer would like to foster more collaboration between the two as well as with health professionals from other disciplines to help advance public health knowledge.
“We’re laser-focused on what we do as a program — in research, service to public health and academic excellence. It gives everyone an idea of who we are. Our goals are focused on student outcomes that can be objectively measured to see if the program has been successful in preparing our students to become leaders in public health.”