For release: April 2, 2010
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843
Accreditation for the new School of Public Health at the University of Memphis has
come $1.32 million closer with a gift of that amount from the Plough Foundation of
Memphis. The gift is a significant portion of the School’s overall $7.75 million “Campaign
Coming from one of the initial supporters of the new School, the gift will be used
specifically for “bridge salary support” to enable the University to fill, as quickly
as possible, six faculty positions within the fields of epidemiology and biostatistics
that are critical for accreditation.
The Plough gift will enable the U of M to fund the six positions until 2012, by which
time the University will have obtained permanent funding for the positions. The University
is committed to allocating funds for the remaining faculty positions that are required
The six positions underwritten by the Plough Foundation gift are especially critical,
because those professors will provide the expertise for research within the School
related to health disparities and comparative effectiveness of public health initiatives. Additionally, those professors will train professionals to gather, interpret, and
use population health and health system data. Other expertise will include designing research studies and investigating the impact
of diseases on populations, as well as the links between behaviors, interventions,
and health outcomes.
“The University is very grateful for the continued support of the Plough Foundation,”
said U of M President Shirley Raines, “and for this gift in particular, because it
will be instrumental in helping us complete the faculty for the School of Public Health,
a vital step toward enabling us to meet accreditation standards.”
Added Dr. Lisa Klesges, director of the School, “Identifying talented faculty with
expertise in public health research and excellence in teaching is essential to the
success of the School of Public Health. Our mission of improving the public’s health is an extremely important one, not just
for the University, but for the community, the state, and the region. This generous gift from the Plough Foundation provides an opportunity to move more
quickly to achieve that mission.”
By the time the School of Public Health pursues accreditation from the Council on
Education for Public Health in 2012, it will offer a full range of courses, with a
minimum of 24 faculty members teaching all required disciplines and courses necessary
for a degree from the School.
The School’s administration has two long-range goals. One is to make the School one of the nation’s premier centers for research about
health disparities, with particular emphasis on urban health equity and policy, environmental
health, and behavioral intervention related to chronic diseases among vulnerable populations. The other is to make the School a leading provider of highly skilled employees for
public health systems in the Mid-South, by educating students so that they understand
the issues of leadership, informatics, and policies in area employers.
For more information, contact Bobby A. Prince, CRFE, at 901-678-4376.