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Dean's Message from Megan L. Ranney - Fall 2023

Yale Public Health Magazine, Yale Public Health: Fall 2023


I’m writing this welcome note a few weeks into the academic year. Our students have returned to campus, our faculty are deep into the swing of teaching and mentorship, our alumni have gathered for our annual Alumni Day, we held a wonderful welcome reception for our students, staff, and faculty – and after a couple months as dean, I’m pretty sure I like Sally’s pizza, best!

Seriously, though, my transition to the Yale School of Public Health has been a joy, in every way. Everyone I’ve met, both within and outside of YSPH, has been welcoming, generous, and excited about our future. And coming from a very small state where I felt like I was only one degree of separation from anyone, I’ve been impressed by the New Haven and Connecticut community connection and commitment.

Most of all, I’ve been inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit that suffuses this school.

As you all know well, our school is moving into full independence for the first time in our esteemed 108-year history. Despite being one of the oldest schools of public health in the country, we are entering this new era with a young spirit. I am grateful to President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel for their support as we collectively build nimble structures, redefine our definition of “impact,” plan new space, and engage in work that matters.

I’m therefore so thrilled that this year’s Yale Public Health magazine is highlighting our existing, ongoing work around innovation and entrepreneurship. This topic is one of the core pillars that I’ve identified to guide our school’s transition. And as a newcomer, this magazine has helped me gain deeper insights on some of the incredible work being done across YSPH, campus, and our larger community.

Read on to learn about everything from cool new algorithms to identify and address proximal causes of the genetic mutations that drive cancer; to the scaling of much-needed, effective mental health treatments created by and for LGBTQ+ individuals through the Yale LGBTQ Mental Health Initiative; to a true “paradigm shift” (one of my favorite terms!) in how to evaluate interventions during their implementation. You will also learn about many of the organizations that nurture innovation across Yale, such as Yale Ventures, with whom we are proud to partner.

I especially enjoyed the profile of Leslie Asanga, Advanced Professional MPH ‘20, who as a YSPH student started a prescription delivery service for vulnerable populations. He is now expanding his business with new support from the Google for Startups Black and Latino Founders Fund. Leslie serves as an exemplar for so many of us – of what’s possible when you combine intellectual rigor, dedication to community, and an entrepreneurial drive – and of what’s possible with YSPH training.

Finally, as we are moving into a new era for YSPH, we also can use this entrepreneurial spirit to redefine how the entire field of public health does its work, how we teach, and how we communicate and collaborate with the world in which we live. Stay tuned for more on how we are leading the way in this work.

I look forward to your reactions to the pages of this magazine. Even more, I look forward to meeting you in person or virtually at one of our many upcoming events across campus, Connecticut, and the globe.

Most of all, I look forward to working with all of you to continue to innovate – to create the future of public health, together.

Megan L. Ranney
Dean, Yale School of Public Health
C.-E. A. Winslow Professor of Public Health

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