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  SEPTEMBER 18, 2009
MPH Students in Russia Graduate from Loma Linda SPH Off-Campus Program

Earlier this month Loma Linda University graduated 55 students from its off-campus MPH program at Russia’s Zaoksky Adventist University, 70 miles south of Moscow. The program began in August 2005 and was the first MPH offered in Russia, where public health is gaining traction.

Dr. Andrey Demin, president of the Russian Public Health Association, congratulated this first graduating class. In his address, Dr. Demin spoke of the great need for more trained professionals and the growing focus on public health and its role in creating a stable society.

In addition to Russia, the students came from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan,and Ukraine. About 50 percent of the graduating students are physicians and other health professionals. The rest are teachers, pastors, or people working in other careers.

"As a result of the Loma Linda University connection, our students have gained access and are contributing to public health in ways they never dreamt possible," said Ms. Dianne Butler, coordinator of the Euro-Asia MPH. "They are running programs for local government health departments, community youth departments, and schools. They are sitting on committees to develop regional health policy and implement plans and programs. They are sharing their knowledge and skills with the directors of local government health departments."

Students had the choice of taking a health education track or a research, epidemiology, and program-planning/evaluation track. Loma Linda University professors taught the face-to-face segment of the courses during four weeks each summer.

Loma Linda University School of Public Health is also currently running off-campus programs in Guam and Hawaii.