News & Events

Stephanie Nelson

Stephanie Nelson

Student Highlight – Stephanie Nelson is a dual degree MPH/MBA student, in the Public Health Administration concentration. Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska What brought you to public health? I first became interested in public health through undergraduate classes in disease prevention. After attending UNMC’s COPH Open House and meeting with professors in the HSRA Department, I felt that the MPH curriculum would greatly enhance my education and career opportunities. What do you like most about COPH? My favorite part of the College of Public Health is the… Continue Reading

Sheetal Sawant, MPH

Sheetal Sawant, MPH

Alumni Highlight – Sheetal Sawant graduated from the COPH in December 2012 with an MPH in Biostatistics. Hometown: Mumbai, India Current position: I am currently working as a biostatistician in the Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) of the School of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. Our data focuses on immune responses to HIV infection and vaccines, from human and pre-clinical studies.   The most interesting part about this position is getting to collaborate with individuals with varied backgrounds and training, both onsite and offsite, and to… Continue Reading

Hongmei Wang, PhD: Research in Socioeconomic Determinants of Health and Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programs

Hongmei Wang, PhD

Spotlight on Research at COPH – Dr. Wang’s research interests focus on socioeconomic determinants of health and health-related behaviors, medical care expenditures and insurance coverage, and economic evaluation of health care programs and medical intervention strategies. She is particularly interested in examining how individual choices, organizational schemes, and sociocultural structures collectively influence population health. Dr. Wang has been working on projects exploring the protective effects of social capital on health and health-related behaviors. By distinguishing trust from mistrust in measuring social capital, she and her… Continue Reading

The Health Center Association of Nebraska – Impacting Public Health by Fulfilling Its Mission


Public Health Community Advisory – Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) serve over 22 million people in more than 9,000 sites across urban, suburban, and rural America. FQHCs are particularly adept at reducing health disparities by breaking down barriers to health care such as lack of providers, lack of culturally appropriate health services, and unaffordability. Since FQHCs serve everyone regardless of their ability to pay, they save the American health care system $24 billion a year by lowering more costly trips to emergency rooms. Nebraska’s Community… Continue Reading

Summer 2014 MPH Graduates


Public Health Practice – In the summer 2014 semester, the following students completed their Service Learning/Capstone Experience to fulfill the requirements of the professional degree, Master of Public Health, at the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Congratulations to these professional students! Best wishes to them all in their chosen profession of public health.  

COPH Notable Events

Habitat Assembly line

On Saturday, August 23, COPH students, staff, faculty, and alumni participated in the first COPH Volunteer Day. Volunteers worked at Habitat for Humanity and Together—two local organizations making a difference with the social determinants of health. Habitat is dedicated to providing safe, affordable housing, and Together is a homelessness prevention organization. Habitat volunteers didn’t let the mud stop them from working on the foundation of a new home, and Together volunteers cleaned up Together’s community garden—a source of much appreciated fresh produce for their food… Continue Reading

A Note to Our Readers:

Top Row: Lea Pounds, Denise Britigan, Aleta Gaertner, Brenda Nickol 
Bottom row: Analisa McMillan, Sergio Costa, Sue Nardie  
Not Pictured: Atul Rayamajhi

The May 2014 issue marks the completion of The GroundBreaker’s third year. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how COPH faculty, students, and alumni are addressing a broad range of public health issues through their research, education, and service activities, and we’re looking forward to continuing to share relevant public health and COPH news with you.