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Interim dean named for planned OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
Author: University Communications
Posted: April 16, 2014

The provosts from Oregon Health & Science University and Portland State University—Jeanette Mladenovic and Sona Andrews—have announced the appointment of Elena Andresen as interim dean of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, a new program seeking accreditation. Andresen is professor in the OHSU Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and director of the Oregon Office on Disability & Health at the OHSU Institute on Development and Disability.

The planned OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is based on collaboration between the two universities and builds on the Oregon Masters of Public Health program (OMPH), accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). 

In making the announcement, Provost Mladenovic said, “While much has been accomplished toward creating this new school, we have a great deal of work still to do. Elena’s training and experience fit extremely well with this new role. As both a faculty member and an administrator, Elena has extensive public health experience in teaching, national and local service, research, and academic program planning, all of which will be essential to the successful of establishment of a new School of Public Health.”

Planning for the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health has been under way for two years. The school’s unique mission will be served by six MPH programs and three Ph.D. programs with a core curriculum that will prepare students to address health disparities through community intervention. Several MPH programs already meet CEPH accreditation requirements, and the three doctoral programs have been approved by the State Board of Higher Education.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with and getting to know Andresen during the past two years," said PSU Provost Andrews. "She has worked closely with PSU faculty since arriving in Portland, and I am confident that she will be able to effectively bring together the public health faculty of both institutions to form a high quality School.”

Among Andresen’s immediate tasks will be identifying the core and affiliate faculty for the school and its programs, leading the development and adoption of the necessary by-laws, policies and procedures that will govern the operations of the new school, recruiting and implementing an effective administrative structure, and overseeing the self-study and submission for CEPH school of public health accreditation status. Andresen will also have responsibility for the ongoing oversight of the current OMPH program.

Andresen joined OHSU in 2011 after serving as professor and the founding chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions. During her time at the University of Florida, Andresen participated in the successful CEPH accreditation of the College. She is an experienced epidemiologist (Ph.D., University of Washington, 1991) who received additional training in health services research. Her collaboratively funded research includes the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Andresen's recent work has been directed at aging and the public health outcomes of disability across the lifespan, and health services outcomes research methods and measures.