History

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The Yale School of Public Health is one of the oldest nationally accredited schools of public health in the country having achieved this inaugural status along with seven other schools in 1946, though its origins date back three decades prior as a department in the Yale School of Medicine; a status it still maintains.

In 1914, Yale University received an endowment from the Anna M.R. Lauder family to establish a chair in public health in the Medical School. This chair was filled in 1915 by Charles-Edward Amory Winslow, who was to be a central figure in the development of public health at Yale.

In its early years Winslow’s Department of Public Health at Yale was a catalyst for public health reform in Connecticut, and the health surveys prepared by him and his faculty and students led to considerable improvements in public health organization. He also successfully campaigned to improve health laws in Connecticut and for the passage of a bill that created the State Department of Public Health.

Drawing on principles and expertise in existing departments at the School of Medicine to supplement public health courses, Winslow focused on educating undergraduate medical students in the context of preventive medicine. He established a one-year program leading to a Certificate in Public Health and a comprehensive non-medical program that graduated eighteen students with a Certificate in Public Health, ten with a Ph.D., and four with a Dr.P.H. by 1925. His students specialized in administration, bacteriology, or statistics. Due to three decades of Winslow’s leadership and innovative foresight and commitment to interdisciplinary education, the department’s academic programs earned recognition as a nationally accredited School of Public Health in 1946.

In the 1960’s the Yale Department of Public Health merged with the Section of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, a unit within the Department of Internal Medicine at the Medical School, resulting in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH). In 1964, EPH moved into its own building, the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health (lEPH), which was designed by Philip Johnson and continues as the primary location for teaching and research.

The Yale School of Public Health community benefits greatly from its dual roles of providing a world-class education as an accredited, fully functioning school, and by conducting cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research through its collaborative departmental partnerships at the School of Medicine and across the Yale campus. Through rigorous academic and scientific pursuits, our students and faculty continue to honor Winslow’s commitment to improving the health of the community through the practice of public health.