Knowing your passion is easy.
Finding your purpose is better.

"I am so glad one of my passions has a name -- public health."
Yesina Castro, 2013

What is public health?

More than a career. A calling.

Public health professionals promote and protect the health of people and communities – where they live, learn, work and play. The ways in which they do that are as unique as the professionals themselves.

Our work in public health includes educating people about the dangers of tobacco, encouraging safe sex, tracking and preventing the spread of infectious disease, examining toxins in our environment, setting up safety standards to protect workers and prevent injury, helping schools establish nutrition programs, affecting public policy and working alongside communities in other countries to help improve health and well-being.

We are change-agents and difference-makers who learn, explore and inspire people to come together to solve pressing health challenges and more – with the goal of preventing disease, prolonging life, reducing human suffering, helping children thrive, and promoting human health and well-being in Oregon and beyond.


Public Health Insider Series

Public health is affected by shifts in policy, social and environmental influences, technology and much more. As a global health crisis illustrates, gaps and inequities of any size in these systems can have devastating effects for health workers, the economy, particularly impacting communities with historic and systemic health disparities.

Public Health 101

Viktor E. Bovbjerg, Ph.D., MPH

Public health crosses many spheres, from ethics to politics to commerce. Viktor Bovbjerg discusses the basic elements of public health that influence our lives, our environment and response in times of crisis. What is epidemiology and why is it being highlighted today by public officials and in the media? What is health policy and how does it directly influence our lives? Learn key concepts and frameworks for what public health is and how it works.

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Public Health Careers: The World Needs You

Karen Elliott, Ph.D., MS, CHES

Karen Elliott, senior instructor and public health undergraduate internship coordinator in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University, presents many career paths available to those who have a background rooted in public health or are interested in embarking on the path to a medical degree.

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A Public Health Crisis: Factors That Impact Your Health Outcomes

Kari-Lyn Sakuma, Ph.D., MPH

There are several factors that affect our ability to live a healthy life. But have you considered your ZIP code as a factor for life expectancy and an indicator of systemic health inequities? Kari-Lyn Sakuma helps us discover these “social determinants of health,” how your ZIP code may be a more important predictor of your health than your genetic code and how we can work together to dismantle systemic health disparity.

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