The UCI Program in Public Health Community remains open during COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and our world is changing daily, the Program in Public Health remains fully operational and committed to ensuring our current and prospective students, alumni, parents, faculty, and staff are supported during this difficult and unprecedented time. We continue to adhere to physical distancing guidance from the university-and from local and state officials-mandating a work from home protocol for all employees. We are a community first and foremost, and though we are practicing social distancing to help eliminate spread of the virus and protect our most vulnerable neighbors, we are not practicing social isolation. But, our student services and administrative personnel are available to answer any questions as we navigate this uncertainty. Please reach out for help or resources, as needed.

We will continue to update you as we receive new and relevant information. Stay safe, healthy, and hopeful!

About UCI Public Health

The mission of the public health program at the University of California Irvine is to create, integrate and disseminate population and community based knowledge to promote health and reduce the societal burden of human disease and disability through excellence in research, education, and public service.

Bernadette Boden-Albala,
MPH, Dr. PH., Director
and Founding Dean,

Program in Public Health,
Susan and Henry Samueli
College of Health Sciences

Bernadette Boden-Albala
Program in Public Health

Dr. Bernadette Boden-Albala is the Director and Founding Dean of the Program in Public Health in the Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences at University of California, Irvine, where she is also a Professor in the Department of Health, Society and Behavior and the Department of Neurology in the School of Medicine. She is an internationally recognized expert in the social epidemiology of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Over the past 15 years, her robust research portfolio has focused on defining and intervening on social determinants of disease, including the role of sex, race-ethnicity, socio-economic status, social support, stress, and social networks on disparities and patterns across the U.S. and globally.

Since January 2020, under Dean Boden-Albala’s leadership, the UCI Program in Public Health has become the key academic partner for government agencies and community organizations to address COVID-19 in the region. She has led efforts at the university, county, and state level on COVID-19 preparedness and response, including strategies around communication, health behaviors, and testing. The program has fostered a strong relationship with the Orange County Health Agency (OCHCA), and, in collaboration with OCHCA and other community partners, initiated a unique health equity-based, bilingual contact tracing strategy for Orange County. Dean Boden-Albala was principal investigator (PI) on two large-scale community COVID-19 serosurveillance projects in Orange County and the city of Santa Ana and serves on multiple strategic advisory groups and tasks forces to guide COVID-19 response. She was named Community Hero by the Greater Irvine Chamber in May 2020 for her efforts and is frequently featured on local, state, and national media for her expertise on issues around COVID-19.

This important work has been a defining pillar of Dean Boden-Albala’s efforts to move the Program in Public Health forward to become the School of Population and Public Health and the dedication of the program’s students, faculty, and staff to delivering public health to the surrounding community during the pandemic exemplifies the reasons why Dean Boden-Albala was motivated to come to UCI. She was inspired by the commitment of the UC system to achieving quality in education that is accessible and affordable. Dean Boden-Albala was also intrigued by the large, diverse, and unique undergraduate program in public health at UCI and was excited by students and their commitment to healthier communities here and abroad. Equally, she was struck by the staff’s strong demonstration of dedication to faculty and students. Dean Boden-Albala was encouraged that there was campus-wide enthusiastic support to create a new school and was motivated by the faculty’s commitment toward social justice, academic excellence and passion for the growth and transition of this program to a world class school of public health. Since joining UCI, she has expanded the Program in Public Health to four departments to include the Departments of Environmental and Occupational Health; Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Health, Society, and Behavior; joining the founding Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention.

In addition to her clinical interventions in stroke and cardiovascular disease, Dr. Boden-Albala is PI of the National Initiative for Minority Involvement in Neurological Clinical Trials (NIMICT), supported by NINDS/NIMHD, which has built a toolkit of materials to improve racial-ethnic minorities’ and women’s participation rates in neurological clinical trials. This work continues as she engages in neurological trial development with an equity lens fostering relationships between communities and the trial PI’s. She served as PI for the Alaska Native Stroke Registry (ANSR). Her work has extended internationally to a collaborative effort between the American Heart Association and the Grenada Ministry of Health to develop and evaluate novel community- and policy-based interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention in Grenada. She was also MPI of an exploratory project in Ghana to assess gaps in lay knowledge of primary and secondary stroke prevention, stroke treatment and recovery. Finally, her work in global chronic disease prevention has included a World Health Organization project that sought to identify the optimum social networks for promoting health policy dialogue in Moldova. In addition to her broad research experience, Dr. Boden-Albala previously served as Senior Associate Dean of Research and Program Development at New York University College of Global Public Health. In this role, she co-created courses with UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program focused on innovative solutions to Ebola and Polio response and exploring a system's approach to food access. She also developed the Cross-Continental MPH, a one-year program that combines classroom learning, collaborative research with faculty mentors, and public health practice experience across three continents.


CEPH In July 2018 the CEPH (Council on Education for Public Health) acted to fully re-accredit the UC Irvine Program in Public Health for a seven-year term, extending the Program's accreditation until July 1st 2025.

For additional information, please see:
 2019 Interim Report Cover Letter
 2019 Interim Report Narrative
 2019 Interim Report APPENDIX
 Academic Program Review - 2019
 UCI Public Health 2017 Self Study
 CEPH Final Report

Copyright © 2022 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.