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The current COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the need for a strong public health infrastructure. Public health professionals are involved in detection, response, and prevention, including allocating resources, designing a containment strategy, ensuring health care supply chains are maintained, and educating the public officials, business owners, and families about social distancing and other best practices to prevent the spread of the virus.

We are deeply committed to health equity and understanding and addressing the challenges that will be exacerbated by the shortage of safe and affordable housing, the large numbers of un- and underinsured, drastically limited or suspended access to nutritional, mental health, and other routine services, and the lack of benefits and economic safety net for many working people during this uncertain time.

What is the Vanderbilt MPH Program doing?

  • We are doing our part to help protect our community and maintain course curriculum schedules by offering all classes in an online or alternative format through the end of the spring 2020 term.
  • Students, faculty, and staff continue to engage remotely in courses, advising sessions, presentations, and other work through Zoom and other technology.
  • Students training in international settings have returned to the U.S.
  • We are working with students who had planned to complete their practicum in an international setting to find alternatives.
  • Three MPH faculty members have been named to the Public Health Advisory Task Force, a resource for the university during the COVID-19 pandemic: Melinda Buntin, Ph.D., Marie Griffin, M.D., M.P.H., and William Schaffner, M.D.
  • Faculty members and students are working directly with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Tennessee Department of Health, and the Metro Public Health Department on the COVID-19 response.
  • Faculty members and alumni are preparing advisory memos and public reports to guide public health response and policy.
 Advisory Memos and Public Reports


05/13/20 Vanderbilt Health Policy COVID-19 Modeling for Tennessee

04/24/20 Vanderbilt Health Policy COVID-19 Modeling for Tennessee

04/16/20 Vanderbilt Health Policy COVID-19 Modeling for Tennessee

04/10/20 Vanderbilt Health Policy COVID-19 Modeling for Tennessee



05/20/20 Addressing the COVID-19 Health Equity Chasm

05/05/20 COVID-19 Herd Immunity & How It Would Play Out In Tennessee

04/17/20 COVID-19 Vaccine: Answers to Questions on the Pandemic’s Leading Issue

04/03/20 Modeling and Forecasting to Inform COVID-19 Response

04/01/20 Expanding Ventilator Capacity—The Need for State and Regional Planning

03/27/20 Key Public Health Strategies for Responding to COVID-19

03/26/20 Primary Clinical Considerations in COVID-19 Response

03/23/20 ICU Resource Allocation for COVID-19 Patients Who Require Critical Care

03/21/20 Data and Decisions: A Framework to Guide Community Response