Program Values & Competencies


Program Values

The following value statements are core to the MPH@Simmons program: 

Social Justice: We value social justice as a core concept of health equity, which embraces the uniqueness, dignity, and inherent value of all individuals and communities and challenges power differentials and structures that preclude fair opportunity for optimal health for all. 

Community Partnership: Rather than work on behalf of, we strive always to work with the communities whose health we aim to enhance, through partnered knowledge production, participatory agenda setting, and collaborative action for social change.

Scientific Rigor and Integrity: We strive for outstanding performance in enacting health equity that is built on the foundation of scientifically rigorous research, evidence-based public health practice, and personal and professional integrity and ethics.

Critical Systems Thinking: In order to assess and address health inequities, we employ a critical lens to understand broad systems and structures that produce and reproduce disparities and injustices in health.

Innovative Leadership: Taking inspiration from past innovation, and challenging existing paradigms, we advance a model of leadership that imagines new systems and structures to improve health equity and create sustainable, transformative impact. 

Core Program Competencies

The MPH@Simmons curriculum is guided by a learning framework that encompasses core MPH professional competencies and knowledge domains, as well as competencies designed specifically to advancing health equity.

Upon graduation from the MPH@Simmons program, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the history and principles of health equity, human rights, and social justice and apply to the discipline and practice of public health.
  • Analyze systems of oppression and structural-level determinants of health, including racism and other forms of marginalization, drawing parallels to patterns of health disparities.
  • Appraise one’s own position, values, and biases, within the systems and structures that shape population health.
  • Employ skills of community organizing, mobilization, and participatory methods to engage community members in assessing and/or addressing community health issues.
  • Appraise public health as a vehicle for transformative change by analyzing an existing health equity initiative as a model of social innovation.
  • Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice.
  • Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context.
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate.
  • Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice.
  • Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health and regulatory systems across national and international settings.
  • Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels.
  • Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health.
  • Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs.
  • Design a population-based policy, program, project or intervention.
  • Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management.
  • Select methods to evaluate public health programs.
  • Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence.
  • Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes.
  • Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations.
  • Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity.
  • Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making.
  • Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges.
  • Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors.
  • Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation.
  • Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content.
  • Perform effectively on interprofessional teams.
  • Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue.

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