We all know that training the next generation of public health leaders is central to our mission and is critical at this moment in history. We also know that our interdisciplinary programs provide important frameworks for teaching and mentoring public health learners at Brown. Today I write to announce changes in the MPH and CTR leadership that will maintain the programs’ curricular excellence and distinctive approaches to education, while positioning the programs for future growth.
After 18 years of leadership and exceptional service, Dr. Patrick Vivier is stepping down as Director of Interdisciplinary programs, effective immediately, to focus on his role as Director of the Hassenfeld Child Health
Innovation Institute. After years of successful academic program building, he will continue to follow his heart—working to improve the health of children in Rhode Island and around the world.
It is difficult to overstate Dr. Vivier’s contributions to education at Brown University. He took a nascent MPH program in 2002, just graduating its first class, and grew it into a fully accredited program with multiple signature areas of focus. He established the Clinical and Translational Research program, building connections to the clinical programs at the hospitals to provide the medical community with more graduate education opportunities. Dr. Vivier developed Brown’s 5-year undergraduate/graduate public health program (the undergraduate/MPH) and he worked collaboratively with the Watson Institute to create a dual MPH/MPA program that closely ties public health science with public policy to prepare students to address critical health policy issues in the United States and throughout the world.
Never satisfied with the status quo, Dr. Vivier had the insight to identify opportunities for innovation, growth, and program improvement. Throughout his nearly two decades of leadership, he remained guided by the needs of our students and committed to their success. I am deeply grateful to Patrick for his dedication to our students and alumni over the years and for his numerous contributions to public health education at Brown University.
The following faculty will carry on the outstanding legacy of educational innovation and student-centered learning that Dr. Vivier established in the interdisciplinary programs:
- Annie Gjelsvik, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology and associate director of the MPH program will now serve as the director of the MPH program. Professor Gjelsvik joined the faculty in 2003 and has been an instrumental contributor to the MPH curriculum and CEPH accreditation process. Her primary responsibilities include oversight of student recruitment, admissions, dual degree programs, MPH concentrations, applied public health experiences, curriculum, and advising, while positioning the program for growth.
- Anya Rader Wallack, PhD, professor of the practice of health services, policy, and practice, will take on the new role of Associate Director of Public Health Practice. In this role she will develop and implement new applied public health learning experiences while strengthening relationships with current learning experience sites, and working to connect MPH practice to accreditation guidelines.
- Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, PhD, associate professor of behavioral and social sciences, associate professor of epidemiology, will serve as the Associate Director of Dual Degree Programs. In this role she will oversee all aspects of the new undergraduate/MPH program, the Health Equity Scholars program, and the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership programs.
- And finally, Amal Trivedi, MD, MPH, professor of health services, policy, and practice, professor of medicine, will assume the Directorship of the Clinical and Translational Research program.
These faculty will report to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Brown University’s interdisciplinary programs are well positioned for growth and continued excellence, with exciting new leadership that will build upon the foundation of student-centered learning laid by Dr. Vivier.
Please join me in thanking Patrick for his service to the School and also in congratulating our new team of program leaders.
Melissa A. Clark, PhD
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Health Services, Policy, and Practice
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology