The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington is offering five free online classes to Indiana’s public health workers.
The school announced the launch of the new “Public Health & You” initiative, which is designed specifically for professionals and practitioners whose work impacts the health of the public.
Courses for the project were developed in conjunction with the Indiana State Department of Health, IU Health Bloomington Hospital and the Indiana Public Health Association.
According to the American Public Health Association, Indiana is one of the 10 least healthy states, with high obesity and smoking rates and low rates of physical activity. The state has one of the worst rates of cancer deaths per capita. In addition, public health funding is less than half of the national average.
Mohammad Torabi, founding dean and chancellor’s professor at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, says one goal of the project is to increase quality of life for all Hoosiers.
“By providing these dedicated health professionals with these no-cost and community-focused tools, we not only help them enhance their knowledge and skills, but ultimately help all of us here in Indiana, because a better-prepared public health workforce means a healthier Indiana,” Torabi says.
Michael Reece, associate dean for research and graduate studies at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, says the Public Health & You campaign also seeks to expand the reach of traditional public health.
“Thousands of individuals in the state, from such diverse organizations as traditional public health departments to fitness centers, churches, parks and recreation departments, and youth-serving organizations, provide important services every day that influence health,” he says.
“This set of easy-to-use online courses was designed in partnership with these individuals and is appropriate for anyone who wants to enhance their work to promote the health of those in their community.”
According to a recent IU School of Public Health news release, five courses are being offered, and the initiative will be expanded over time. Courses can be taken alone, or if all five are successfully completed, the participant can earn a Professional Development Certificate in Public Health from the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.