Loomis to serve as School of Public Health director

8/28/2007 7:00:00 AM

Dana Loomis has a vision for the University's School of Public Health. After serving the University of North Carolina for 18 years, he decided to take the plunge and move to Nevada. Loomis has been with the School of Public Health since January.

Loomis' background is in environmental health and epidemiology. In his new role, he is focused on improving the health of the population throughout the state and region.

In May 2007 Manuel Bayona, School of Public Health Director, left the University to assume the role of Mexican Director General of Epidemiology.

"After deliberating it was clear that Dana was the best person to lead the School," said Charlie Bullock, College of Health and Human Sciences acting dean. "Dana brings excellent experience and enthusiasm to the School and I look forward to working closely with him."

According to Loomis, the School of Public Health is poised to move forward.

"This is a really exciting challenge for me," Loomis said. "I want this School of Public Health to be the best in the intermountain west. This is a large area with a rapidly growing population. It is my hope to serve the region well, becoming the destination for students interested in studying public health."

The School is using an innovative approach to studying public health based on an ecological model.

"In our teaching we emphasize the way all of the various pieces of health work together," Loomis said. "This model focuses on the wholeness of health while considering how multiple  factors come together to affect the health of populations and individuals."

Currently, Nevada is ranked near the bottom of nearly all national health indicators.

"This role is a personally exciting challenge for me," Loomis said. "Public health is about moving each health indicator in a positive direction. That is exactly what I am here to do. I want to see the School continue to grow and mature."

Currently students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Ecology or a Master of Public Health (MPH).  MPH students can specialize in social and behavioral health, epidemiology, health ethics policy and administration or environmental and occupational health, and a combined Master of Public Health and Master of Science in Nursing degree is also available.

 The School is also working to offer Doctoral programs in environmental and occupational health, epidemiology and social and behavioral health and an MPH in biostatistics.

"The School has several great things to offer," Loomis said. "We offer an economical program compared to others in the region and have a young energetic faculty that is fun to work with."

This semester Loomis is teaching a graduate seminar on environmental and occupational health.

His previous appointment was in the department of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. He also served the department of environmental sciences and engineering.


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