The Population Perspective

Our department uses a population perspective to explore and understand health. Our focus is public health – the art and science of preventing disease and promoting health through organized community effort. We use the social ecological approach to address the interactions of environments, behaviors, and biology across the lifespan.

We understand health to be essentially holistic – physical, emotional, social, environmental, intellectual, spiritual – and far more than the absence of disease or difficulty. We are interdisciplinary by nature and design, drawing from a wide range of fields and professions to influence health across the spectrum of prevention.

We believe that health is personal and political, and that health promotion is both an individual and a social responsibility.

We believe in the power of groups to identify problems and assets, develop priorities, and take action for the common good. We are committed to eliminating health disparities and transforming the structured inequities between groups. Our vision, commitments, and actions are both local and global.

The public health perspective is both critical and hopeful. We use a wide range of approaches and strategies to understand and address the social determinants of health. We use the science of epidemiology and the rigor of research to understand health risks and problems as they impact individuals and communities. We use social science theory and community creativity to nurture capacity and courage for the individual and social changes that promote health for all. We are committed to health equity and the interconnections between us all.