Jeffrey Bratberg

If you are interested in working in the trenches of public health, the University of Rhode Island is for you—and Jeffrey Bratberg is your guy. His passions lead him to creative ways of engaging students in today’s public health issues—whether it’s through his zombie flu clinic, his Grand Challenges course, or his role on federal and state disaster medical assistance teams.

Professor Bratberg has been a member of the URI pharmacy faculty for 12 years and is an expert at responding to bioterrorism, natural disasters, and infectious diseases. A member of the Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team and the Rhode Island Medical Reserve Corps, he assisted with the H1N1 swine flu epidemic in Rhode Island and responded to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans in 2005.

Most recently he addressed the risks of the Ebola epidemic, easing the minds of concerned Rhode Islanders with helpful information. Though there is little chance URI students will contract Ebola, it is possible they will get the flu. Professor Bratberg stepped in by training pharmacy students to become immunizers, and now a select group of URI students are trained immunizers certified by the American Pharmacists Association.

Professor Bratberg is also one of four URI professors to teach a Grand Challenges course on global public health, which allows him to integrate his passion for teaching and research in today’s pressing global health issues. His advice to his students: “Be the solution for global public health problems.”

The professor has also helped the state address the rash of deaths from opioid overdoses. He mentored a student on how to train community pharmacists in opioid overdose death prevention using naloxone. This training sparked a statewide, regional, and national movement for pharmacies to stock and furnish naloxone kits and for pharmacists to train friends and family of those at risk of narcotic drug overdoses in life-saving measures.