As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the lives of millions of people across the country and billions around the world, Albion is focusing a new action-oriented initiative on addressing some of the greatest public health issues in the last century.
Led by 1977 alumnus James Wilson, M.D. Ph.D., a renowned medical scientist, the College has launched an ambitious Comprehensive Public Health Initiative that will advance community conversation and understanding of the social, political, economic and public health dimensions of the pandemic. This endeavor features a range of academic components for students—including training in contact tracing and expanded nursing opportunities—as well as public health training for all members of the Albion College community. The multifaceted initiative also includes an online seminar series developed and led by Dr. Wilson featuring world-recognized experts in public health and policy, beginning September 10, 2020.
Speakers who have already committed to participate include:
- Stéphane Bancel: Chief Executive Officer, Moderna Therapeutics.
- Troyen Brennan, M.D., J.D., MPH: Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health.
- Anjelica Dunlap: Critical Care Nurse, St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit.
- Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D.: Vice Provost of Global Initiatives, Levy University Professor, and Co-Director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School
- Fritz François, M.D., M.Sc., FACG: Chief Medical Officer, Department of Medicine, New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York City.
- Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives
- Andrew Lo, Ph.D.: Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor of Finance, and the Director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.
- Salaam Muhsin: Managing Partner, Structure Design Inc. and Financial Findings Inc., Philadelphia.
- Debra Pérez, Ph.D.: Senior Vice President, Organizational Culture, Inclusion and Equity, Simmons University, Boston.
- Kaitlyn Simmons, RN, BSN, PCCN: Clinical Nurse III at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
The schedule will be announced shortly.
An Integrated Curricular and Co-Curricular Public Health Focus
Under the leadership of Dr. Bradley Rabquer, director of the Wilson Institute at Albion College, Albion’s Comprehensive Public Health Initiative will also include a significant expansion in health curriculum and co-curricular training to prepare a new generation of students and other stakeholders for a world that will likely look very different in the wake of the current pandemic.
Faculty and staff have collaborated to develop a suite of public health offerings including:
- A post-baccalaureate pre-medical studies program: Starting in summer 2021, Albion’s one-year post-baccalaureate certificate program in pre-medical studies will allow students to enhance their academic record prior to starting medical school.
- Expanded nursing opportunities: Working closely with partners at the Oakland University School of Nursing, the Wilson Institute is crafting a four-year nursing degree for students that will provide the highest level of clinical training coupled with the analytical and critical-thinking skills that a liberal arts college like Albion provides.
- Contact tracing: Efforts are underway to train Albion students who are members of the Wilson Institute to become COVID-19 contact tracers. Trained students will work with local public health officials to confidentially identify individuals who may have been in contact with someone infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19.
- Opportunities for additional course credit: A new free online course focused on the pandemic is being offered to all newly enrolled students and will begin in July.
- A public health living-learning community: A living-learning community will be open to more than 30 first-year students who want to study the public health challenges faced today.
- New public health programs: New programs are being built and explored in undergraduate and graduate public health.