Certificate in Public Health, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Response
Certificate in Public Health, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Response
This four-course public health certificate program will prepare students to play a role in public health emergency response. It will provide students with an understanding of emergency management systems, introduce them to various forms of disasters and public health threats, as well as to various response skills essential to public health. Students who successfully complete this certificate will also earn three FEMA certificates and a certificate in contact tracing.
This certificate program can be completed in as little as six months (two courses per term), or 12 months (one course per term). The certificate is an online program offered through the Public Health department at A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS).
The first cohort of students in the Certificate in Public Health, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Response program will matriculate in January 2021.
Review the University Catalog to learn more about the program and university. Read detailed course descriptions and obtain answers to many of your questions regarding application and tuition.
Certificate in Public Health, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Response Degree Faculty
Associate Dean of Academics and Assessment +
Jim Farris, PT, Ph.D.
Jim Farris, PT, PhD, is the associate dean for academics and assessment in A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS). Dr. Farris earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1987, and master’s degree in exercise science in 1989, both from California State University, Fresno; as well as a bachelor’s degree in physical therapying 1999 from Arkansas State University. His doctoral degree was conferred by The Ohio State University in 1995, where his studies focused on exercise physiology and nutrition. His current scholarship efforts are aimed at cardiopulmonary fitness throughout the lifespan.
He joined ATSU in 2009, started his associate dean role in 2020, and is now in his 25th year of higher education and administration. Dr. Farris has over a decade of academic administration and assessment experience as a department chair and has strived for overall educational excellence in that role. He completed the American Physical Therapy Association’s Education Leadership Institute Fellowship, is an Educational Leadership Institute Fellow, and has served on the board of directors for the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy before joining ATSU-CGHS.
He enjoys serving the community, and one our nation’s most underserved populations, through his role as a clinical director for the FUNfitness program that is part of the Special Olympics Healthy Athlete’s program. His home is in the west where outdoor activity and sunshine is abundant. Work-life integration is a goal and he “sharpens the saw” through golfing, cycling, fishing, hiking, cooking, brewing, and yardwork.
- Jim Farris, PT, Ph.D.
Jeffrey Chaffin, DDS, MPH, MBA, MHA
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Jeff Chaffin, DDS, MPH, MBA, MHA, is an assistant professor in the Master of Public Health – Dental Emphasis program at A.T. Still University. Dr. Chaffin graduated from the University of Tampa in 1988, and received a doctor of dental surgery from the University of Nebraska in 1992, a master’s in public health from the University of Michigan in 2000, a master’s in business administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2006, and a master’s in healthcare administration from Baylor University in 2006. Dr. Chaffin is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health, currently serves as the immediate past president of the American Board of Dental Public Health, a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a Fellow of the International College of Dentistry, a member of the Official Order of Military Medical Merit (O2M3), and he holds the Surgeon General’s “A” designator for excellence in Dental Public Health.
Dr. Chaffin spent 21 years on active duty in the US Army serving as the chief of dental for TRICARE. His research interests focused on dental patient satisfaction and military dental readiness. Current research work is focused on dental sealants and factors associated with dental care utilization.
Jaana Gold, DDS, PhD, MPH, CPH
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Jaana Gold, DDS, PhD, MPH, CPH, is a professor at A.T. Still University College of Graduate MPH program, and an adjunct clinical associate professor at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, in the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Gold received her DDS degree from the University of Oulu, Finland in 1992; a doctorate degree in preventive dentistry in 2005; and completed advanced education program in dental public health at NYU Langone Hospitals in NYU in 2019. She brings over 25 years of experience in teaching, research, and practice in dentistry.
Dr. Gold’s research interests include caries management and prevention, oral health promotion, dental education, and dental public health. She has published original research in peer-reviewed journals and presented in several international and national conferences. She is teaching dental epidemiology, evidence-based dentistry, dental research, global health issues, and dental public health, and she serves as an advisor for MPH students and dental public health residents. Dr. Gold is a member of several national and international professional organizations; serves in several national and institutional leadership roles and continue to conduct research and promote and advocate for oral health in underserved populations.
Gregory Loeben, PhD, MA
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Gregory Loeben, PhD, MA, is an associate professor and the MPH practicum coordinator in A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies. Previously, Dr. Loeben served as an associate professor and coordinator of bioethics at Midwestern University in Glendale, Ariz., where he created and ran a master’s degree program in medical ethics. Prior to Midwestern, he was coordinator of the Outreach Program at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics. He received a bachelor’s in both philosophy and environmental studies from the University of Vermont, and a master’s and doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arizona.
Dr. Loeben has served as a consultant or advisor on medical ethics issues to numerous healthcare institutions. He is on the board of the Arizona Bioethics Network and serves as a consultant He has an extensive experience in clinical ethics consultations, working with healthcare ethics committees, and research institutional review boards. His current research interests include a variety of issues in public health ethics, clinical ethics consultation, and online ethics education. More specifically, Dr. Loeben is interested in how professional and conscience based refusals to participate in an apparent medical activity should be understood. He is also interested in developing tools to measure the effectiveness of animal therapy programs for special needs populations.
M. Lindsay Wright, DMD, MPH
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Lindsay Wright, DMD, MPH, is an assistant professor in the Master of Public Health – Dental Emphasis program at A.T. Still University. Dr. Wright graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1996, and received a dental degree from Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine in 2000, a master’s in public health from the University of Illinois – Chicago in 2008, and completed a dental public health residency in 2015. Dr. Wright is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health. She is a member of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry Speaker’s Bureau, and also participates in several professional public health and dental organizations. Dr. Wright holds a joint appointment with the College of Graduate Health Studies and the Arizona School of Dental and Oral Health where she teaches full time in the dual-degree MPH-Dental Emphasis and Public Health certificate programs. She also serves as an advisor for MPH students and dental public health residents. Her research interests are oral health care for the pregnant patient, oral health care education for home-visiting nurses, and interdisciplinary oral health education and collaboration.
Mary-Katherine McNatt, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH, COI
Associate Professor and Chair
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Mary-Katherine McNatt, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH, COI, is department chair and associate professor of the Master of Public Health program at A.T. Still University-College of Graduate Health Studies.
Dr. McNatt holds a doctorate of public health with an emphasis in social and behavioral sciences from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, a master’s in rural public health from Texas A&M University Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, and a bachelor’s in biology from Texas A&M University with a minor in chemistry. She is a master certified health education specialist, is certified in public health, and is a certified online instructor.
Dr. McNatt has extensive experience in epidemiology, program planning, community health, and public health preparedness; with experience working in the non-profit sector, government sector as well as in academia. She has been teaching online since 2007, and has completed and obtained her online teaching certificate from Sloan-C, COI from LERN, and is currently taking courses from Quality Matters.
Prior to becoming a full time academic, Dr. McNatt was the first full-time pandemic program planner in the state of Texas at Dallas County Health and Human Services. Key activities included enhancing existing surveillance systems for seasonal influenza, educating community leaders through created lectureships and programs, and provide consulting services for agencies in developing their own business continuity and continuity of operations plans. Prior to her employment for Dallas County she worked as a community health facilitator for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Fort Worth, focusing on community health education and outreach.
Dr. McNatt has published multiple research articles on pandemic planning and emergency preparedness, and on social media in educating diverse populations; she also presents regularly at national conferences on rural border health issues, health equity, social media and water scarcity as a public health issue, this includes presentations at American Public Health Association and National Rural Health Association. She has served as a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association as well as former chairman of the American Heart Association Cultural Health Initiatives Tarrant County Task Force. She is a member of the National Rural Health Associations Government Advisory Council, National Rural Health Association’s Health Equity Board, and serves on the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Education Committee, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Best Practices in Pedagogy subcommittee. She is also a CPH question writer.
Dr. McNatt’s research interests include cultural health disparities, rural /border health issues, maternal and child health, public health preparedness, and special medical needs populations.
In her spare time she enjoys riding horses and traveling. Dr. McNattlives in Texas with family.
Josefine Ortiz Wolfe, Ph.D., RDH, CHES
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Josefine Ortiz Wolfe, Ph.D., RDH, CHES, is an assistant professor in the Master of Public Health program at A.T. Still University within the College of Graduate Health Studies. Dr. Wolfe is a Registered Dental Hygienist, Certified Health Education Specialist, and a National Health Service Corps Scholar Alumni. She earned an undergraduate degree in dental hygiene from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2005, a Master of Science in public health from Walden University in 2008, and a doctoral degree from Walden University in 2017. Previously, Dr. Wolfe served as the director of the Oral Health Program at Texas Health Institute and the project coordinator of a school-based dental sealant program at the City of San Antonio’s Health Department. Dr. Wolfe serves as Chairperson for the American Public Health Association’s Oral Health Section and is also a member of the Speakers Bureau for the American Association of Public Health Dentistry. She has over a decade of oral health leadership experience, and she is a national dental health educator and speaker. Her research interests include oral health equity, social and structural determinants of health in Latino and immigrant populations, care coordination in community health centers, and health systems research.
- Jeffrey Chaffin, DDS, MPH, MBA, MHA
Certificate in Public Health, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Response Degree Admissions
ATSU’s renowned master of public health online department admits public health professionals who have diverse graduate education, work history and life experiences. Qualified candidates demonstrate an ability to pursue a rigorous course of graduate academic study and hold increasingly responsible positions in public health.
Students are selected by an admission committee that considers the overall qualities of the applicant through application content, academic record, prior experience, letters of evaluation, and personal motivation. In special circumstances, a personal interview may be required.
- Completed and signed admissions application along with a nonrefundable application fee.
- An accredited degree from a university recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (bachelor’s degree for masters programs and a master’s degree for doctoral programs). Applicants who graduated from a university outside the United States may have to provide a degree equivalency evaluation.*
- Official transcript from the qualifying degree-granting institution. For students using VA benefits transcripts for all institutions attended are required.
- Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) at the qualifying degree institution.
- Some degree programs may require experience or credentialing relevant to the field.
Elements of Success:
- A current resume.
- Completion of an essay.
- English Proficiency **
- Meet technology requirements.***
*Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university should submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:
- World Education Services P.O. Box 5087 Bowling Green Station New York, NY 10274-5087 p: (212) 966-6311 f: (212) 739-6139 email@example.com
- Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. P.O. Box 514070 Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 (414) 289-3400
- American Assn. of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 520 Washington, DC 20036-1135 (202) 293-9161
- Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants 7101 SW 102 Avenue Miami FL 33173 p: (305) 273 -1616 f: (305) 273 -1338 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Intl. Education Research Foundation, Inc. PO Box 3665 Culver City, CA 90231-3665 (310) 258-9451
**Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Studies. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:
- Option 1 - English is your first language.
- Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four year college/university in the United States with a BA/BS or graduate degree.
- Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Acceptable minimal scores for CGHS applications are:
The Computer Based Test (CBT), Internet Based Test (iBT), or the Paper Based Test (PBT) are accepted. The following are the minimum required score based on test type:
- CBT - minimum total score of 213 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 26/Writing Skills section
- iBT - minimum total score of 80 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 24/Writing Skills section
- PBT - minimum total score of 550 Minimum of 57/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 61/Writing Skills section
The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609. 771.7100. A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, 609.771.7100
***ATSU technology requirements
Review tuition and fees for the Certificate in Public Health, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Response program. Please note tuition and fees are subject to change.
Federal financial aid is not available for certificate and non-degree enrollments.
The ATSU Family and Culture
Canvas Demo Course +
Explore our interactive online learning platform (Canvas) through a virtual course tour.
Click the “Connect Now” button below, then complete the following steps:
- Choose “I’m a Student”
- Enter join code: KADNHH
- Enter your full name
- Create a username and password
- Choose the “Start Learning” button
Certificate in Public Health, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Response Curriculum Overview
The online Certificate in Public Health, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Response curriculum provides comprehensive training that develops leaders who are fully prepared to address society’s healthcare issues. All core courses are taught by ATSU’s exceptional, doctoral-level faculty, which includes former top national public servants, industry leaders and academic innovators in public health.
Guidelines for MPH alumni and current students:
Alumni of ATSU-CGHS’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program in the last seven years are able to receive credit for their PUBH5000 and EPID6100 courses from when they completed their master’s degree. Any alumni who completed those courses more than seven years ago will need to retake the courses.
Students must take SHMG6000 in 20-21SP or later, as the course is being revised specifically for the certificate program.
Students who completed EPID6100 prior to 20-21SP, are not required to retake this course, but need to understand if they choose not to, they will not receive the contract tracing part of the certificate curriculum (certification available).
Introduction to Public Health+
This course is a comprehensive introduction to public health within the context of the U.S. healthcare system. Contents include the concept of public health, its problems in the context of social and community factors, its development from a historical perspective, the role and mission of public health organizations, and an overview of current public health concepts, models, and policy.
This course examines the study of disease in populations from a public health perspective. Topics include research methods, study designs, sampling, data analysis, interpretation of data, and application of findings for public health policy.
Global healthcare is an emerging priority for organizations and governments worldwide because of the impact on international economic stability. Technology, research, and the advancement of healthcare interventions have produced improvements in health outcomes for many. Unfortunately, these advancements have also led to inequalities in health status within and between countries. The world is faced with new challenges such as the potential for pandemics, an aging population, a diminishing healthcare workforce, and the stresses of determining resource allocation. This course explores the many facets of global health to expose the student to the complexity of the concepts that impact healthcare in developing and developed countries.
Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response+
For years, public health has played a critical role in responding to emergencies and disasters of all kinds. This course examines the roles and responsibilities of public health during a disaster and emergency. You will examine the various types of disasters and emergencies, including bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and natural disasters, and learn how a response is planned, initiated, and coordinated. This course will also introduce you to emergency preparedness planning and common concepts, principles, terminology, and organizational processes used including the National Response Framework (NRF), Incident Command System (ICS), and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Students who successfully complete this course will earn three FEMA certifications.