UMass Lowell Plans New Health Programs Dovetailing with Northern Essex Community College

UMass Lowell students, from left, Essi Havon, Namrata Chauhan, Charmi Patel and Heer Patel, all of Lowell, and Vanessa Tanash Ayafor of Dracut, recently attended the 2022 AcademyHealth annual research meeting in Washington, D.C. There, they learned about the latest advances in the health care field. The students will begin study this fall in UMass Lowell’s new track in public health informatics and technology within the master’s of public health program. (Courtesy photograph.)

UMass Lowell is launching new programs in public health informatics and technology this fall, while working with Northern Essex Community College to ensure compatibility and local partners to ensure programs meet local job needs.

A new track for undergraduate public health majors will combine classes in computer science, public health and business. It will be led by public health faculty with guidance from UMass Lowell’s Solomont School of Nursing, department of computer science and Manning School of Business.  At the graduate level, UMass Lowell’s Division of Graduate, Online and Professional Studies will offer new tracks in public health informatics and technology for working professionals.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for UMass Lowell to work with community and educational partners to enhance the public health infrastructure in the Merrimack Valley,” said UMass Lowell Public Health Professor Dan Berlowitz, chair of the department, who is leading the effort.

Northern Essex Community College is developing public health coursework compatible with the UMass Lowell program. Northern Essex and other colleges are working with the university to ensure students who graduate from the two-year schools can transfer seamlessly to UMass Lowell to complete their degrees.

Community partners working with UMass Lowell to provide such opportunities and ensure the new academic programs meet local job needs include the Lawrence Board of Health, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research.

The new programs are paid by a $3.2 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information as part of the Public Health Informatics and Technology Workforce Development Program. The initiative, paid through the American Rescue Plan, seeks to strengthen public health capacity and bring more diversity to the field.

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