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Public Health News

11.2016 Master in Health Administration Students Garner Top 10 Finish in Case Study Competition

 The Master of Health Administration (MHA) program competed in the 21st annual Everett V. Fox Student Case Competition hosted by the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) held in Las Vegas, NV.  The team representing the MHA program included Ms. Nadia Khan, Dr. Aditya Sharma, and Ayodeji Omosule.  The team was assigned the task of expanding mental health services in San Diego (county) California. The team focused on adding mental health services in a number of the existing community based urgent care facilities and promoted the use of bundled payments to entice private and corporate systems to consider providing a holistic, one-stop, access points for those in need of physical and/or mental health care.

The team also incorporated inter-professional components into their plan by involving the professions of Social Work and Public Health.  Additionally, one of the more unique features of their plan included a heavy reliance on Community Health Workers and Patient Navigators to assist individual’s access and utilize the health care system.

The judging of the competition was conducted by a number of hospital and system CEO’s including Keiser, HCA and the American Hospital Association among others. During the first round of competition teams were judged in groups of five. Two teams from each of the five groups advanced to the semifinal round of 10. WKU and the University of Michigan were the two teams to advance from the five teams in the preliminary round. The top 10 teams again presented their cases to an expanded panel of judges.  WKU competed well but did not advance to the final round.

Given the fact that this was WKU’s first experience in case study competition, faculty advisors, Dr. Gregory Ellis-Griffith and Dr. William Mkanta, were pleased with the team’s performance. Both professors praised the team’s dedication in preparing for the event and the poise and professionalism exhibited by these students.

This conference and this competition is one of the premiere events in the country for identifying and recruiting the next generation of health care executive talent into the health care system. In addition to showcasing the student’s talent, the MHA program’s visibility is greatly enhanced, especially with a top 10 finish. Student’s used this opportunity to begin developing a professional network and the word J-O-B was heard often. Congratulations to the students and advisors of the case study competition

10.29.2016 EOHS Faculty and Students Conduct Firefighter Research Survey in Owensboro, Kentucky

On Saturday, October 29th, faculty and graduate students from the Environmental and Occupational Health Science program conducted a survey with over 150 firefighters from across the Green River Firefighter Association (GRFA).  A firefighter school was held by the GRFA at the Owensboro Community and Technical College, drawing firefighters from throughout the region.  Faculty members, Dr. Jooyeon Hwang and Dr. Ritchie Taylor, and adjunct instructor Mac Cann, led a team of five graduate students, Divya Gadde, Randi Hunton, Akshay Nuguri, Harshitha Ponnala, and Shila Thapa, to survey more than 150 firefighters during this event.  This work is a community basedEOHS faculty and students

participatory research project that was initiated more than a year ago. The team of faculty working on this project also include Dr. Vijay Golla and Dr. Gretchen Macy. Together, with leadership and firefighters from the GRFA, they developed a research project and survey during meetings at the WKU Owensboro Campus.  The emphasis of this research is to study work related exposures that firefighters may experience, such as exposures to fire smoke contaminants.  This study is critical, as disparities in firefighter exposures may result in disproportionate health effects.  Another key component of this research is a comparison of career and volunteer firefighter exposures.  To date, very limited research has been conducted with volunteer firefighters. Funding for this project was provided by the College of Health and Human Services through a Quick Turnaround Grant (QTAG).  Results of the survey will be presented to the GRFA during their January meeting.  The collaboration will be continued through a study initiated this semester to assess fire smoke contaminants on gear and in the vehicles of firefighters.

04.17.2013 The WKU Department of Public Health MPH Program, Health Education Concentration presents: THOSE WHO KNOW STUFF DO BETTER THAN THOSE WHO DON'T: How public perception of what causes health shapes public health. Guest Speakers: Marshall Kreuter PhD and Martha Katz MPA, April 17th at 2 pm, Augenstein Alumni Center in the Robertson-Feix Grand Ballroom

04.08.2013 The WKU Department of Public Health presents: Kentucky Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Stephanie Mayfield Gibson, FCAP

2013 CHHS Faculty Award Winners

12.2013 Taylor, Lartey and Iyiegbuniwe receive 2013 CHHS Outstanding Faculty Award

Public Health faculty receive three of the four 2013 CHHS Outstanding Faculty Awards.  The CHHS recipients pictured are (left to right): Dr. Ritchie Taylor - Public Service, Dr. Grace Lartey - Student/Advisement and Dr. Emmanuel Iyiegbuniwe - Research/Creativity. Congratulations on this recognition and honor!

For more information about the above recipients, please visit this link

11.25.2013 MHA student receives ACHCA scholarship

Darla Hayden of Henderson, a student in WKU's Master of Health Administration program, is one of two recipients of the W. Phillip McConnell Scholarship from the AmericanMHA student Darla Hayden College of Health Care Administrators.

For more information about this press release, please visit this link

For more information about the Master of Health Administration, please contact Dr. William Mkanta at (270) 745-5260 or or visit this link

11.2013 Health Care Administration Undergraduate Program receives AUPHA re-certification

The Board of Directors of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) approved WKU's Department of Public Health, AUPHAHealth Care Administration Program Undergraduate Review Report with the recommendation to continue Full Certified Undergraduate Membership status for Western Kentucky University. The certification term will be for six years and due for re-certification in 2019. Congratulations!

For more information about the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration or the AUPHA certification, please contact Health Care Administration Program Director and Associate Professor Dr. Gregory Ellis-Griffith at (270) 745-3076 or

11.12.2013 WKU students, faculty attend summit on 'New Frontier in Aging'

Several WKU students and faculty attended Louisville Innovation Summit that focused on "America's New Frontier in Aging."louisville innovation summit group

WKU faculty who attended the Nov. 12-13 included Dr. Dana Burr Bradley, Director of WKU's Center for Gerontology; Dr. Gary English, head of WKU's Department of Public Health; Dr. Gregory Ellis-Griffith, assistant professor and director of WKU's Healthcare Administration Program in Public Health; Melanie Eaton, instructor in Public Health's Long Term Care Certificate Program; and Dr. Keith Knapp, CHHS Board of Stakeholders and CEO Christian Care Communities, Inc.

For more information about this press release, please visit this link

11.12.2013 Virtual Dementia Tour experience for College of Health and Human Services studentsjoseph mccarty college of health and human services long term care class innovation summit

WKU students Joseph McCarty and Darla Hayden spent part of their day gaining a greater understanding of what life is like for patients suffering from mental disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

For more information about this Business First Afternoon Edition Newsletter, please visit this link 

HCA students attend 2013 Vanderbilt Health Care Conference

10.25.2013 Health Care Administration students attend 2013 Vanderbilt Health Care Conference

This gathering of highly talented students, alumni, and industry leaders discussed the latest trends and challenges in healthcare. "Transforming Health Care: Innovative Delivery Models for a New Era " was chosen to generate discussion about how to provide healthcare in a new and changing political environment. Students and faculty in attendance heard from some of the best minds in the industry about new approaches to change as they tackle the complex challenges facing healthcare.  The trip was organized by the Student Healthcare Association (SHA).

For more information about the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration, please visit this link

For more information about the Student Healthcare Association, please visit this link

10.21.2013 Master of Health Administration students attend state long-term care meetinglong term care certificate program

Two Public Health students attend state long-term care meeting. Darla Hayden and Urmila Tokekar, both seeking a Master of Health Administration (MHA) in Public Health at WKU, were the only students in attendance at the recent American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) Kentucky Chapter meeting.

For more information about this press release, please visit this link


10.11.2013 Student Research and Presentations at NIOSH PRP SymposiumNIOSH 2013 Symposium

Dr. Emmanuel Iyiegbuniwe and two graduate students in the Department of Public Health (Sireesha Kodali, MHA and Usonwanne Nwosu, MPH) traveled to The University of Cincinnati, Ohio to participate and present at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Pilot Research Project (PRP) Symposium.

For more information about this event, please visit this link


10.07.2013 Weight of the Nationweight of the nation public health

The screening event offers an in-depth look at obesity followed by a lively discussion about how we can work to reduce obesity rates on our campus and in our community. 

For more information about the event, please visit this link


long term care certificate program

10.02.2013:  Long Term Care Administration students visit Hospice House

Students in Long-Term Care Administration, a healthcare administration course in WKU's Department of Public Health, recently visited the Hospice House of Southern Kentucky, Inc., the second in a series of off-campus experiences scheduled for this semester.

For for information about this press release, please visit this link 

For more information about the Long Term Care Administration Certificate, visit


02.12.2013:  Worksite Health Promotion students visit Logan Aluminum in Russellville, KY     logantrip2013

Graduate and undergraduate students of Worksite Health Promotion, along with the Environmental and Occupational Epi students from WKU's Department of Public Health, took an off campus trip to Logan Aluminum. Mr. Johnny White, HR of benefits, medical and wellness, presented information on Logan Aluminum's Benefit, Medical and Wellness (BMW) program.

For more information about the Worksite Health Promotion Certificate, please visit this link


2013:  Kentucky Public Health Association, WKU Chapter, wins Best Student Chapter Award 2013Best Student Award 2013

The Kentucky Public Health Association (KPHA) at WKU won the Best Student Chapter Award for 2013. This is the fourth consecutive year that WKU's student chapter won the 1st place in the state.

 For more information about KPHA at WKU, please visit this link


 09.24.2012:  Master of Public Health and Environmental Health graduate students collaborated with the Louisville/Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency

A group of WKU graduate students from the Master of Public Health, Environmental Health, program collaborated with the Louisville/Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency to study the flow of hazardous materials through the region.

For more information about this press release, please visit the link

For more information about the Master of Public Health, please visit this link


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 Last Modified 7/6/17