Image-Ft. Sam Houston SoldiersDue to the changing nature and challenges our military personnel are facing related to public health around the world, the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School (AMEDDC&S) has developed an educational public health affiliation with the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. 

For the past five years, the school has worked with the Department of Preventive Health Services to develop an educational affiliation that awards graduate degree credits to select Department of the Army officers and civilians for a Military Preventive Medicine Program of Instruction. The program, funded by the Department of Defense, was renewed recently for an additional five years through 2018. 

Based at Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio, Texas, the AMEDDC&S provides all public health and preventive medicine training to the U.S. Army. This continuing agreement with the Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health allows military students to earn 12 graduate-level college credits that can be used toward the completion of a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree. 

“This has been an outstanding program and we have developed a great relationship with the School of Rural Public Health over the past five years,” states Col. Mustapha Debboun, director of the Department of Preventive Health Services at Fort Sam Houston. “It is our hope that this program will continue for a long time.” 

While the Army training is tailored to military populations, the collaboration and affiliation with the Texas A&M School of Public Health lays a foundation of core public health knowledge that may be translated into any setting. Students learn the latest in core public health skills, including health policy and management, epidemiology and biostatistics, environmental and occupational health, industrial hygiene, health promotion, community health, preventive medicine and public health sciences. 

“The affiliation of the School of Rural Public Health and the AMEDDC&S represents a collaborative vision that provides the Army with an accredited public health professions curriculum and an opportunity for joint research endeavors with a major health-related academic and research institution,” states Antonio Rene, Sr. associate academic affairs dean at the Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health. “The collaboration of Army, Navy and Air Force medical training centers at the AMEDDC&S as part of the military’s Joint Medical Training Center will also serve to strengthen the relationship with the School of Rural Public Health.”

— Rae Lynn Mitchell

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