Erik Balster, M.P.H. (’10), REHS, RS
Health Commissioner, Preble County Public Health
Public Health, by its very nature, is in a constant state of flux. Fortunately, the education and experience I obtained through the Master of Public Health Program at Wright State University prepared me for the real world challenges that a public health professional must often face. Program staff, with expertise from all corners of public health, helped tailor coursework and opportunities that allowed for me to pursue my interests in environmental health and zoonotic disease prevention, as well as to establish important, long lasting professional relationships with other public health professionals.
As the years have passed since graduation, the core competencies of public health I developed through the program have remained ever so useful. With the acquired skillset, I was able to guide Preble County Public Health to the achievement of National Public Health Accreditation in May 2016, being among the first 125 health departments in the country and the first in Southwest Ohio to achieve this recognition.
Perhaps the best compliment I can attribute to the WSU M.P.H. program is that when working with other WSU M.P.H. graduates, I know I am working with some of best and brightest in the field and am never surprised by their thorough understanding of how to make public health work best.
Kathleen Henschel, M.P.H. (’13)
Epidemiology Specialist, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
The M.P.H. program at Wright State truly helped prepare me for my current position as a communicable disease epidemiologist. Being able to explore my varied interests with dedicated, passionate faculty members allowed me to become a well-rounded public health professional.
I left the program with a solid foundation in epidemiology and biostatistics, which let me jump in right away with outbreak investigations and reportable disease surveillance. I deployed to Guinea with the Centers for Disease Control’s Ebola response (team) in 2015, and my understanding of global health and the complex factors impacting it was invaluable as a field epidemiologist.
The emergency preparedness coursework has enabled me to take a more active role in preparedness planning for statewide events, including Ebola contingency planning, and being a member of the Missouri Rapid Response Team, which responds to food-related outbreaks impacting both humans and livestock.