Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia College of Public Health professors Su-I Hou and Joel Lee were among 500 qualifying health professionals awarded the inaugural Certification in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Nearly 700 people took the examination.
Hou, associate professor of health promotion and behavior, currently serves as undergraduate coordinator in the department of health promotion and behavior. She received both her M.P.H. and Dr.P.H. from the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
Lee, professor of health policy and management and associate dean of the college, received his Dr.P.H. from the University of Texas School of Public Health.
Dean Donna Petersen, chair of the National Board of Public Health Examiners and dean of the University of South Florida College of Public Health congratulated the charter class. “First-time test takers made history,” she said. “They are a part of a landmark event in the development of the profession of public health. We are grateful to each of these pioneers, and we encourage others to register for the next examination to be held in August 2009.”
The NBPHE was launched to demonstrate that graduates from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health have mastered required core and cross-cutting competencies and to address the need for greater recognition of public health as a health profession. Employers hiring credentialed graduates will be assured that these candidates have a fundamental breadth and depth of core public health knowledge.
“Having a national credential for our graduates will have an impact similar to that seen by public school teachers when they started their national exam some 15 years ago: increased employability, better career ladders, better salaries, better retention, and increased portability moving around the country,” said Dr. Charles Mahan, president of the National Board of Public Health Examiners.