The Bloustein School offers a range of teaching and research programs and initiatives related to healthy communities, health in all policies, and the upstream (social and environmental) determinants of health.
Social and Upstream Determinants of Health
Our undergraduate programs tie together the social and upstream determinants of health in a web of course offerings from health administration to public health, public policy, and urban planning and design. Our majors allow students to choose from electives that improve their understanding of how issues such as education, housing, poverty, and more, challenge the overall health of communities. Students can also choose from courses that prepare them to advocate for public policy change, evaluate ethical dilemmas, or act with purpose during situations requiring emergency preparedness.
Our master’s program in Health Administration provides students with the skills needed to shape administrative policies and improve the health care system. Our Public Policy program engages students in health in all policies and our Urban Planning and Policy Development program is a national leader in sustainable development, a cornerstone of healthy communities. Our newest program, Urban and Public Informatics ties our graduate programs together, preparing students with the advanced analytic skills necessary to address the social and upstream determinants of health. Each of the aforementioned areas is also flourishing areas of research within Bloustein, giving us the conceptual depth, experience, and engagement needed to be highly ranked nationally. Thus, our doctoral program in Planning and Public Policy encourages students to pursue scholarly research and leadership in any of these areas with demonstrated Bloustein expertise.
Bloustein teaching and research endeavors are underpinned by our values relating to environmental sustainability, financial resilience, social and environmental justice, and by our desire to alleviate disparities in wellbeing among people of color, lower-income groups, and marginalized segments of society. The teachers and researchers within the school seek to engage scientific and policy debates designed to reduce socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in health and other services, factors affecting the overall health of communities. Bloustein research on the social and upstream determinants of disease looks at neighborhood disadvantage, poor working conditions, income and wealth disparities, and other issues tied to where we live, work, and play. Recent examples in this space include efforts to reduce food insecurity; guaranteeing travel independence for individuals with limited mobility; ensuring safe routes to school for children; revitalizing public spaces to improve human interactions; and engaging communities to envision a healthier built environment for themselves. Our faculty and research staff use public policy, urban planning, and data-driven approaches to understand how such factors affect overall community health.
Research Cluster on Health
The Bloustein Health Research Cluster is a community of faculty and staff researchers who teach and/or work on funded research in community health, writ large. Membership is open and comes from a variety of the school’s academic and research programs. The Cluster comes together on a regular basis to allow participants to engage in conversations about community health issues, discuss their current research efforts, as well as new avenues for funded research.
Healthy Communities Initiative
The Healthy Communities Initiative is a network of projects and partnerships within the School that seeks to translate research and insights into the upstream determinants of health to actionable strategies. The Bloustein School’s Advisory Board supports this initiative, funding both cross-cutting courses and seed grants to encourage policy interaction.
Bloustein Healthy Communities grants
- Eric Seymour & Kathe Newman: Housing insecurity and health
- Francis Barchi: Evaluating the effectiveness of mobile versus stationary clinics for the delivery of adolescent sexual and reproductive health services in Maun, Botswana
- Soumitra Bouyan, Julia Rubin, Joel Cantor: New Jersey COVID-19 Impact Study
- Robert Noland & Wenwen Zhang: Behavioral impacts on transportation from COVID-19: Will we be healthier?
- Radha Jagannathan: Understanding the Nutritional Needs of Latino Families in New Brunswick
Planning Healthy Communities Initiative (PHCI)
The Planning Healthy Communities Initiative (PHCI) is a partnership dedicated to promoting the integration of public health impacts into planning and decision-making with the goal of fostering healthier and equitable communities. PHCI is an initiative of the Bloustein School in collaboration with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.