PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — Starting in the fall of 2021, Florida State University Panama City will offer a bachelor’s degree program in public health.
In a time where healthcare is in the spotlight, Dean Randy Hanna said now is a great time to offer this degree and prepare students to serve Northwest Florida.
“Such a valuable degree at this time,” Hanna said. “Students will be learning epidemiology, they will be studying the environmental impacts on health, and they will be looking at public health management.”
Students in the public health program will be prepared to work in many different areas of the field. Areas of study range from working in a private sector, a healthcare facility, or for state and local governments. As the community has seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare officials are always needed and play a large role in the system.
“Whether it is specific healthcare delivery or healthcare administration that number is increasing,” Hanna said. “Students are interested in healthcare and in helping others and that’s what we want to do in this field.”
The university is expecting this program to pique the interest of more students and send up enrollment numbers. Student Body President Lucy Rodriguez said this program will open many new opportunities right on campus.
“It opens up a lot of doors to public health,” said Rodriguez. “It opens up a great path to the medical field so it’s really exciting that we will have some students that we otherwise wouldn’t have had.”
Rodriguez said it’s real-world programs like this one that draws students to the campus, and she is already hearing excitement from her peers.
“I have a lot of students that were talking about their friends joining our campus just because there are so many more opportunities available for students,” Rodriguez said.