Public health is a fast-growing field with a focus on the health and medical needs of communities. It appeals to students interested in a pre-health profession using many perspectives, since it has ties to anthropology, biology, communication studies, environmental studies, ethics, geography, health economics, political science, sociology and women’s and gender studies.
The interdisciplinary nature of public health makes it a natural fit for a liberal arts education. At Augustana, students examine the social, political and environmental determinants of health, and approach the study of health as crucial to understanding our role in local, national and global communities.
The Quad Cities is an ideal location for public health majors to gain experience. Augustana students have had internships with the Rock Island County Public Health Department, Red Cross, the Unity Point Health Systems Infection Prevention/Epidemiology Team, Mississippi Valley Blood Bank, Family Resources and the World Relief Refugee Resettlement Agency.
Off-campus experiences include internships in Sydney, Australia; a public health, peace and justice internship at Baylor College of Medicine; the Augustana in Denver internship program; and a service-learning program offering free health clinics in Nicaragua. Funding for these experiences is available through Augie Choice, the Freistat Center, and other sources.
Students can participate in the JETS (Joining Education Through Service) trip to Nicaragua. The faculty-led JETS program began in 2008, and each year about 30 students work with Nicaraguan professionals to provide healthcare and health education to people in several remote villages in rural Nicaragua.