Written by Mobina Riazi
UC San Diego is one of the 10 largest research universities in the country and is extensively involved in public health. Recently, UCSD has gotten approval for the construction of a new school of public health capable of spotting and fighting disease worldwide, analyzing how pollution from wildfires affects specific communities, and evaluating mobile medical devices.
The new school will also address California’s emerging health care services shortage, which includes a need for an estimated 160,000 home care employees in the next decade. The $100 million project was unanimously approved by the University of California Board of Regents.
This initiative is set to create a new standard for the University of California public health schools. Planners hope this will have a ripple effect on other UC campuses, including Irvine, Merced, Davis, and San Francisco.
UCSD’s supporters include Florida billionaire and inventor Dr. Herbert Wertheim, who gave the campus $25 million last year to begin developing a school of public health. The university will ask the Regents Board to name the school after the 80-year-old Wertheim.
Wertheim is an optometrist who is credited with helping millions of people by creating eye wear that better screens ultraviolet and blue light and fight against cataracts and macular degeneration.
“With a focus on public health, we can define the future where medicine, biology, engineering and public policy come together. We can look at how we, as human beings, can live in a better society and create better health outcomes for each and every one of us, regardless of our socioeconomic background,” said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.
The new school will not only monitor public health, but tackle various other local health-related issues as well. It will help combat California’s shortage of public health workers, while hopefully developing a more stable and healthy local population.