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What students learn in VCU's Public Health Emergency Preparedness class

Posted at 7:50 AM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 07:50:16-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Parts of Richmond look like a ghost town, including the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. But that doesn't mean VCU students aren't learning.

A course in Public Health Emergency Preparedness was the first program of its kind.

"There's no standardized curriculum in this field nationally," Dr. Sarah Raskin, at the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, said. "So the fact that they thought to include a public health emergency preparedness class in the first place is highly commendable."

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The Master’s program is taken by physicians, active military, safety personnel, and others.

"I think that many students who participate in the class will be able to draw on their personal knowledge of dealing with a pandemic and responding in their respective fields," she said.

Others, like Kevin Chevitanon, are drawn by a sense of duty.

Right now, he works in the financial industry in Washington, D.C.

"I really wanted to obtain a professional degree where I could go into public service and give back to society while working for the U.S. government," he said.

Kevin Chevitanon

He’s already putting what he’s learned to good use.

"What we can do as a class is actually do what we can to influence policy makers to help get these supplies to the hospitals where it's needed."

The lessons are building our response to pandemics and Building Better Minds.

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