Historically Black Prairie View A&M University is now offering bachelor’s degree programs in public health. It is the first HBCU in Texas to offer such degrees.
The bachelor of science degree curriculum is designed for students interested in pursuing a career as a public health professional and/or a graduate program in public health. The bachelor of arts program is for those interested in seeking admission into professional schools, such as medical school, dental school, or physician assistant programs with an interest in public health.
“Reducing health disparities is one of the major goals of public health,” said Alphonso Keaton, dean of the Office for Undergraduate Studies and an associate professor of biology at the university. “Thus, as an HBCU, it is incumbent upon PVAMU to produce highly trained public health professionals with the core competencies in public health to develop and implement strategies to address the fundamental environment, social and economic causes of health inequities in Texas, the country, and globally.”
Dr. Keaton added that “unfortunately, in the US, we continue to suffer from racial disparities in health care, despite significant advances in modern health care. Some of the statistics are staggering, and even surprising for a developed nation.”
At a time when Blacks face such disparities in health and in society, Dr. Keaton says PVAMU has a calling and a responsibility as a historically Black university “to educate students who derive from underrepresented communities and to help bridge the gaps in these health disparities.”
Dr. Keaton holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Fisk University in Nashville. He earned a Ph.D. in physiology from Meharry Medical College in Nashville.