Put Research to Work

Practice and Partnership

We will build ethical and equitable collaborations with local, regional, and global partners to engage communities and translate our research into mutually beneficial public health practices, policies, and programs.

Our work does not end with the lessons we teach our students or the research we conduct in communities. Public health research can’t fulfill its potential unless it is relevant to practice and until those who work in academic public health have a deep connection to practice. We will make sure that we infuse practice in all aspects of what we do, particularly in the ways we educate the public health workforce, carry out research, and translate that research into action.

We are also evolving our approach to partnerships. Public health partnerships are often formed in times of crisis, but not sustained. Partnerships can also be unequal in terms of who has voice and agency. Moving forward, we will set standards for respectful and mutually beneficial partnerships—and we will actively seek to build and sustain those partnerships.

These efforts will better equip the next generation of public health leaders to guide organizations that do public health practice, ensuring our work is grounded in community needs.

Rollins has always been incredibly proud of our strong connections to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need to forge deeper relationships with state and local public health agencies. In three years, our Rollins Epidemiology Fellows Program has already started to help rebuild the public health work-force in Georgia, and I see enormous opportunity for growth in that program and so many others. ALLISON CHAMBERLAIN, PHD
Associate Professor of Epidemiology Director, Emory Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research and Emory COVID-19 Response Collaborative

Objectives and Tactics

Grow institutional and infrastructure support for applied public health practice.

  •  Appoint an associate dean of public health practice and partnerships who will serve as a hub for community-based engagement for the school.
  •  Empower the associate dean of public health practice and partnerships to develop and oversee practice-based teaching, advising, and research across the school.
  •  Convene a public health practice annual symposium that brings together academic, government, and community public health organizations to align efforts, set goals, and facilitate implementation of those goals to be mutually beneficial and efficient in deploying public health resources.

Cultivate diverse, equitable, and mutually advantageous partnerships to enhance responsiveness to local, national, and global public health needs.

  • Deepen engagement with our own city and state to improve health, bolster our local public health workforce, and elevate the work of local partners.
  • Catalog Rollins’ current partnerships, their purpose, and individual relationship managers, then develop an enterprise system to strengthen existing partnerships and to cultivate strategically important new partnerships.
  • Develop protocols to ensure Rollins’ partnerships are ethical, sustainable, equitable, diverse, and inclusive.

Establish a pipeline of initiatives that develop and grow practitioners from both academia and the broader health community.

  • Refine and align public health practice competencies for Rollins and integrate these into the Rollins curriculum with the goal of scaling nationwide.
  • Bring practitioners and academics together to learn from one another via institutes, leadership cohorts, and service-learning opportunities, with particular engagement of alumni and community organizations.
  • Find new and innovative ways to solicit feedback from community partners, the Community Advisory Board, the Faculty Advisory Board, and alumni so that we can improve our curriculum and training offerings based on workforce trends.

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