SPH Behind the Scenes

Our new video series, “SPH Behind the Scenes,” shines a spotlight on the people and places that make the U of M School of Public Health (SPH) such an amazing school. Join Interim Dean Tim Beebe as he tours some of the 30+ nationally and internationally recognized SPH centers in fall 2022.

Episode 6: Center for Public Health Systems

Released November 29, 2023

In this episode of SPH Behind the Scenes, Interim Dean Tim Beebe visits the Center for Public Health Systems (CPHS), an initiative founded to increase a sustainable, skilled public health workforce.

SPH established CPHS in 2021 to solve challenging problems and improve public health systems and outcomes. With partners across the University of Minnesota and the country, CPHS supports governments, organizations, and communities with findings from public health practice research and generates new evidence to build a solid U.S. public health infrastructure.

Featured in this episode:

JP Leider, health policy and management associate professor and CPHS director; Chelsey Kirkland, CPHS researcher; Yasmin Odowa, CPHS researcher; Rachel Schulman, CPHS manager.

Episode 5: State Health Access Data Assistance Center

Released October 25, 2023

In this episode of SPH Behind the Scenes, Interim Dean Tim Beebe visits the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), a unique national asset that gives U.S. states and territories the health data they need to create wise policies.

SHADAC provides technical assistance and in-depth data analysis to a wide range of partners including foundations, state and federal agencies, academic institutions, other research organizations, and nonprofits. In its aim to make health a human right, it strives to increase health coverage and access to care; advance delivery and payment system reform; and inform Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) policies. SHADAC also conducts its own health policy research that it translates into issue briefs, reports, and peer-reviewed journal articles.

Featured in this episode:

Lynn Blewett, health policy and management professor and SHADAC director; Elizabeth Lukanen, SHADAC deputy director; Colin Planalp, SHADAC senior research fellow; Christina Worrall, SHADAC senior research fellow.

Episode 4: Nutrition Coordinating Center

Released March 16, 2023

In this episode of SPH Behind the Scenes, Interim Dean Tim Beebe visits the SPH Nutrition Coordinating Center (NCC), a national leader in advancing our knowledge about what we eat and helping individuals and organizations conduct nutrition research.

The NCC’s flagship product is the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR), a software program researchers use to analyze the composition of foods found in recipes and menus, or eaten by study participants. The NDSR includes more than 18,000 foods and is used by more than 140 institutions ranging from Johns Hopkins University to NASA. The center also trains and certifies researchers on how to use NDSR and conducts food recall research on behalf of institutions.

Featured in this episode:

Lisa Harnack, epidemiology and community health professor and NCC director; Abigail Johnson, epidemiology and community health assistant professor and NCC assistant director; Huong Duong, NCC user support specialist.

Episode 3: Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center

Released February 9, 2023

In this episode of SPH Behind the Scenes, Interim Dean Tim Beebe visits the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH). UMASH is one of 11 Centers of Excellence in Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education, and Prevention funded by NIOSH to protect the health and safety of agricultural workers and their families.

UMASH takes a One Health approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of human health, animal health, and the environment. The center brings together five research and healthcare institutions across nine states to address existing and emerging occupational health and safety issues in agriculture.

  • UMN School of Public Health
  • UMN College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)
  • National Farm Medicine Center
  • Migrant Clinicians Network

Featured in this episode:

Jeff Bender, professor of environmental health sciences and UMASH director; Chela Vazquez, UMASH research project specialist; and Megan Schossow, UMASH center coordinator and director of outreach.

Episode 2: Center for Healthy Aging & Innovation

Released Nov. 1, 2022

In this episode of SPH Behind the Scenes, Interim Dean Tim Beebe visits the SPH Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation (CHAI), a national leader in developing and improving ways for people to be happier and healthier as they age. 

CHAI is a hub for scholarly interaction and collaboration between academic researchers and community partners. Its experts are: making breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s care; improving quality of life and addressing racial disparities for people using long-term care; eliminating ageism; working on age-friendly initiatives that support the inclusion of older adults in society; and increasing collaboration with American Indian communities, Black, Indigenous, and communities of color, and sexual and gender minorities.

Featured in this episode:

Joe Gaugler, health policy and management professor and CHAI director; Tetyana Shippee, health policy and management associate professor and CHAI associate director of research; Rajean Moone, CHAI associate director of education; and Robbin Frazier, CHAI associate director of equity and community engagement.

Episode 1: Coordinating Centers for Biometric Research

Released Sep. 29, 2022

Housed in an unassuming building on University Ave. on the University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus in Minneapolis, the SPH Coordinating Centers for Biometric Research (CCBR) is one of the premier places in the world for designing and managing global drug and treatment trials.

CCBR has a nearly 50-year history of improving the way we approach life-threatening diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, influenza, Ebola, and now, COVID-19, and its work has saved millions of lives.

Featured in this episode:

Cavan Reilly, biostatistics professor and CCBR director; Jim Neaton, biostatistics professor; Jacquie Nordwall, statistician and INSIGHT protocol manager; and Erika Helgeson, biostatistics assistant professor

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