February 06, 2013
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at St. John’s
University has launched a
Master of Public Health degree program to meet the growing
demand for well-trained professionals to address the complex issues
and conditions that affect human health here and abroad.
With official New York State Education Department approval, the
University is accepting applications for Fall 2013 admission to the
“We are delighted to have added the MPH degree to the many other
outstanding programs of study offered by the College of Pharmacy
and Health Sciences,” said Robert A. Mangione, EdD, RPh, provost.
“We look forward to the significant contributions that faculty
members and students associated with this program will make to
enhancing health care in our great city, the nation, and the
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public health
professionals are in high demand. The nation faces increasing
non-communicable diseases, rising health care costs, and health
disparities. Globally, public health professionals are needed to
address potential pandemics, environmental hazards, and disasters.
Public health professionals focus on promoting wellness and disease
prevention. They also help plan, monitor, evaluate, and increase
access to health care.
“The approval of the Master of Public Health program by the New
York State Education Department is an exciting and challenging
development for the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences,” said
S. William Zito, PhD, acting dean for the College of Pharmacy and
Health Sciences. “It gives us the opportunity to develop trained
public health professionals with expertise in preventable health
conditions, public health analysis, and the global dimensions of
The 45-credit program, leading to a
Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, offers two areas of
community health and
global health—and is built to meet the educational demands of
both recent graduates and current professionals. “The public health
program at St. John’s is different from other programs, in that it
captures the spirit of the University’s Vincentian values,” said
Wenchen Wu, PhD, chair of the Department of Pharmacy Administration
and Allied Health Sciences.
Heather Mavronicolas, MPH, PhD, is the program’s director.
She joined the University in October 2012. According to
Wu, her extensive background in public health, health systems
management, and global health will provide students with a broad
understanding of public health practice and research, both in the
U.S. and abroad.
“I’m very excited to lead this program in its effort to promote and
protect public health through education, research and service,”
said Mavronicolas. “The program’s dynamic
curriculum will prepare students to serve as leaders in public
health and face current and emerging public health
She added that the University’s Vincentian tradition is an
especially strong aspect of the program. “It’s a tradition that
will empower individuals to work with both local and global
communities to improve health and promote effective solutions to
global and regional public health problems,” she said.
Before her appointment, Mavronicolas was director of quality
management and special projects for the New York City Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene's HIV Care, Treatment, and Housing
Program. Mavronicolas holds a PhD in Health Systems Management from
the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical
Medicine; an MPH from the University of Sydney School of Public
Health, Australia; and a BA in International Relations from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on
collaborative practice among HIV providers and health disparities.