The medical school's public health chairman will help local health departments track infectious diseases.
By WILLIAM K. ALCORN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Andrews Academic Professorship in Community and Public Health has been established at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine with the aid of a $1.5 million gift from the Andrews Trust, the single largest gift in the medical school's history.
The Andrews Trust was established by the estate of the late John and Doris Andrews of Youngstown. Money from the trust was earmarked for Mahoning County and Youngstown.
The new academic position was established in collaboration with the District Board of Health of Mahoning County and the Youngstown City Health Department, said Dr. Robert S. Blacklow, president and dean of NEOUCOM, located in Rootstown.
The purpose: The holder of the professorship will be a physician with community and public health experience and will serve as a liaison between NEOUCOM and the local health departments.
The doctor also will teach public health and conduct research at the medical school, Dr. Blacklow said.
Dr. William Keck, associate dean for the Division of Community Health Sciences at NEOUCOM and director of the Akron City Health Department, will oversee recruitment of the first occupant of the Andrews Chair in Community and Public Health.
The Mahoning County and Youngstown health departments will contract with NEOUCOM for some services and also will pay an annual local share of the cost of the chair of $15,000.
The benefits: The local departments benefit from the association in such areas as tracking diseases, said Matthew Stefanak, Mahoning County health commissioner.
Neil Altman, Youngstown health director, said the partnership will further expose physicians to public health issues and bring medicine and community health closer together.
NEOUCOM is a medical school that is a consortium of Youngstown State University, University of Akron and Kent State University.