Some problems need a new major

Student counsels senior citizen

URI students and faculty are always offering up big ideas for the world’s changing needs, and health care — one of the fastest growing industries in the nation — is no exception. From our unique new health studies major to a semester-long honors colloquium dealing with the political and economic forces shaping health care today, students here have the opportunity to participate in the most current curriculum and conversations about an issue affecting millions.

Our new health studies major is preparing a new generation of students for non-clinical careers in global and environmental health, health promotion, and health services. Real jobs to meet real 21st century needs.

Our new health studies major is preparing a new generation of students for non-clinical careers in global and environmental health, health promotion, and health services. Real jobs to meet real 21st century needs. Not everyone wants to be or has to be a clinical care provider. Our health studies degree program leads to a wide range of careers that focus on health policy and community education, issues of poverty and global wellness, hospital administration, corporate wellness, and more.

It’s also interdisciplinary, bringing together 28 departments across all eight colleges on the Kingston campus and the expertise of 130 faculty members. Health studies majors receive a strong foundation in core areas of health and epidemiology. And, depending on their interests, they may study anthropology, business, communication, history, human development, kinesiology, nursing, pharmacy, psychology, and sociology, among other areas. They can also combine a health studies major with minors such as gerontology, hunger studies, leadership, sustainability, or women’s studies.

Regardless of our degree or career goals,  health care affects us all. And this year’s URI Honors Colloquium is bringing to campus more than a dozen leading health care experts and cultural events to stimulate discussions on a wide range of economic and political issues affecting health care in the United States today. This informative series begins with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder on September 11, whose book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, traces the important work of Dr. Paul Farmer in improving the health of the world’s poorest people affected by the tuberculosis and HIV pandemics.

October 11-21, the URI Theatre will perform Marvin’s Room, a funny and moving play about family, illness, death, and human frailty. And on December 4, Greg LaGana, MD and Barry Levy, MD, accompanied by Brad Ross, will perform “Damaged Care” a musical comedy focusing on the erosion of the clinician-patient relationship and de-personalization of medical services.

Other topics covered during the weekly lectures include closing the gap in health care access for people in low-income nations, how demographic changes affect community health, the potential impact of food and nutrition policy on health, and public perceptions about vaccinations in the U.S. and around the world. Many of the lectures will be livecast for viewers who can’t be here in person.

At URI, we’ve always been proud to tackle the world’s most challenging issues head-on. It only makes our students better able to offer real solutions in the real world.

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At URI, you can study hot pharmaceutical research topics with accessible mentors renowned for their work on such killer diseases as cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes, AIDS, and others. And you'll study them in the coolest of settings — a 3-D animation lab,  greenhouses, the ocean, and a brand new building that's all about inspiration and innovation. Our $75 million College of Pharmacy building will open its doors to students for the first time on September 4, and all eyes will be on the college’s role in making the state, nation, and world healthier.