The global coronavirus pandemic has far-reaching implications for health, the economy, society and the environment, as well as for personal freedom and international relations. This period is challenging for us all, including those who work in public health.
Nevertheless, every crisis also presents an opportunity.
The Braun School significantly contributes to the national and global effort to tackle the pandemic. Our researchers head and participate in a large number of studies in the field—some of which are supported by competitive research grants—which contribute to understanding the nature of the virus and to making relevant information accessible to government agencies and to the general public. From the outbreak of the pandemic, Braun School faculty members have been engaged in national discussions and in writing position papers that promote data-driven decision-making processes. Some of our students are also involved in these efforts as members of research teams. A significant number of our Israeli and international alumni are currently at the forefront of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, including at the decision-making level.
In addition, we diligently continue to teach and conduct research in all areas of public health. At this time, more than ever, there is an urgency to train the future generation of public health practitioners. As the ongoing pandemic teaches us, public health needs do not remain static. Public health professionals must address increasingly complex and evolving challenges. To meet these challenges as well as the needs and expectations of potential employers, the public health workforce must be appropriately trained with problem-solving and leadership skills in a range of disciplines including epidemiology and statistics, health promotion, health economics and healthcare management.
The school's academic and administrative staff are very attentive to the students' needs during this period, which is characterized by uncertainty and health, economic and social concerns. Our goal is to facilitate effective and safe learning, despite the difficulties. During the second semester of the 2019-2020 academic year, the school staff and students rose to the challenge of transitioning to distance learning and successfully completed the year . The sudden transition was fraught with difficulties and through student and staff surveys, and training workshops we have begun the 2020-2021 academic year well prepared for the challenge. We are well aware of the value of face-to-face interaction between the lecturers and their students for productive and experiential learning, especially in the first year of graduate studies. We are confident that with full cooperation between the school's faculty and students, we will be able to maintain a high standard of learning in public health.
See below a summary of the work being done by the school faculty, media appearances, seminars and policy papers presented to government officials and decision-makers.