EAST STROUDSBURG -- East Stroudsburg University will now be partnering with The Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton to offer a collaborative masters program. The partnership hopes to better prepare future health care professionals.
"It is an opportunity for students to be fully trained not only in medicine, but in public health where we need health care delivery to go. So it is a great opportunity," said East Stroudsburg University President Marcia Welsh, PhD.
The partnership is the first of its kind within the state and one that medical student Carol Fouad plans to enroll in.
"I don`t think you can separate patient-centered medicine from understanding first public health, so I think it would be a great opportunity for me," said Fouad.
The Public Health Programs focuses on things like community wellness programs, school-based health clinics and more.
This new partnership between TCMC and East Stroudsburg University is being funded through a $1.5 million grant that will go towards helping students. The grant will provide about $300,000 in scholarships for students over a five-year period -- a good value for those already paying high premiums for their education.
"It`s tremendous for both institutions. We at Commonwealth want to give our students the opportunity to learn Public Health through the M.D. curriculum and, in addition, to offer our students the opportunity to get a certificate in public health without having to stay any longer than four years in medical school," said TCMC President and Dean Steven Scheinman, M.D.
East Stroudsburg students already enrolled in the Masters of Public Health program say they see advantages in this partnership as well.
"It leaves a lot of doors open and a lot of positive things to come. Given that you network and build your bridges and your networks it definitely leaves doors open and positive things to come," said Department of Health Graduate Assistant Sahris Jackson.
Administrators for both ESU and The Commonwealth Medical College say they will be working out details over the next several months to determine logistically where these "M.D. - Public Health Classes" will be held. Most of them are expected to be based at TCMC beginning in June, 2013.