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Our History

Excellence and expansion are hallmarks of the School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Auspicious Beginnings

Our history dates back to Oct. 14, 1965, when the School of Health Related Professions (HRP) was created by order of the Trustees of the State University of New York. Albert C. Rekate, MD, a UB professor of rehabilitation medicine and an administrator and later director of the present day Erie County Medical Center, was named acting dean of the school in 1965.

The next year, UB recruited J. Warren Perry from the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration in Washington, D.C., where he had helped shape the 1966 Allied Health Professions Training Act. Perry moved quickly to unify programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy and medical technology, all previously housed in the medical school. When HRP was formally dedicated in 1967, it was the first of its kind in New York and one of the first in the nation.

Program Expansion

Perry was successful in obtaining federal funds to develop allied-health training programs.

In 1975, HRP added a program in nuclear medicine technology and a year later picked up the Department of Physical Education from UB’s School of Education. In the mid-1980s, physical education merged with physical therapy to form the Department of Physical Therapy and Exercise Science. During that decade, the school also started a graduate program in nutrition.

By the mid-1990s, HRP had started doctoral programs in rehabilitation science and exercise science.

Visionary Leadership

In September 2001, Maurizio Trevisan, MD, MS, chair of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, agreed to serve as interim dean of HRP. He brought with him the vision for the new School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP). SPHHP was created and formally established in January 2003 by combining the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine (currently known as Epidemiology and Environmental Health) and the School of Health Related Professions.

Trevisan was named dean of the SPHHP in December 2004 and served in that capacity until September of 2007, when he was recruited by the Nevada System of High Education to serve as vice chancellor and CEO of the University of Nevada Health Sciences System. In September 2007, Lynn T. Kozlowski, PhD, was named interim dean of the school and in December 2008 was named the new school’s second permanent dean.

Fully Accredited

The school was awarded full accreditation in 2009 by the Council on Education for Public Health, qualifying it for membership in the Association of Schools of Public Health, which is now known as the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. The school’s health professions programs—occupational therapy, physical therapy, preventive medicine residency and dietetic internship—are also fully accredited by their respective professional bodies. Among the members of the ASPPH, our school is one of just a handful in the country that complements public health with the health professions. | Read more

Global Focus

In 2011, we created the Office of Global Health Initiatives to coordinate and promote the school’s global health opportunities. The office brings together UB students, faculty and staff and community partners from across the globe to further health education, research and service. | Learn more

Our School Today

We offer degrees at undergraduate, graduate, professional and doctoral levels through our five departments: biostatistics; community health and health behavior; epidemiology and environmental health; exercise and nutrition sciences; and rehabilitation science. A new department in health services policy and practice is in development.