Improving population health by advancing science and training tomorrow’s health leaders

WITH AN EYE TO THE RAPIDLY EVOLVING PUBLIC HEALTH LANDSCAPE, the Brown University School of Public Health embarked on a strategic plan to expand upon our existing strengths while pursuing new opportunities to innovate and transform public health education and research. The plan, Advancing Well-Being for All, is the culmination of a 15-month-long, inclusive process, led by a dedicated steering committee of faculty, staff, and students, and informed by over 50 in-depth conversations with internal School stakeholders, colleagues from the Brown University campus, partners from the community, and the Advisory Council to President Paxson for Public Health. Our gratitude goes out to everyone who participated in the process, and helped the School to create a unified vision for making an impact on urgent health needs and improving health equity.

The Framework

The Strategic Plan’s framework (below) consists of four core health themes; the School’s specific scientific capabilities that crosscut these themes; and its organizational capabilities, reflecting responsibilities we have within the School and with our community partners.

Strategic Plan framework

Health Themes

Through the identification of four carefully selected population health themes, we aim to build upon the gains achieved in the past and invest strategically in ways that allow us to grow and accomplish new and higher levels of prominence and distinction. While these themes do not represent the whole of our School’s work and expertise, they have been chosen for their particular relevance to current and future public health needs.

  • Addiction
    Inform public health policy and create interventions that prevent substance abuse. Address the expanding scope of behavioral addictions through innovative treatment and harm reduction strategies.
  • Mental Health, Resilience, and Mindfulness
    Develop solutions that build resilience and promote optimal wellness and mental health so that communities can thrive despite challenges.
  • Environmental Health and Climate Change
    Develop strategies to protect human health from the dangers of climate change and environmental toxins. Urge policy action to mitigate the negative health impacts of environmental threats.
  • Vulnerable Life Stages: Children and Older Adults
    Examine the early origins of health and illness from a variety of perspectives. Identify and test interventions to optimize child health and development. Improve the health and care of our older population while reducing the costs of providing that care.


The School of Public Health is renowned for its scientific and organizational capabilities, which cross-cut the plan’s health themes. Our well established expertise and capabilities will maximize impact across all four identified thematic areas of growth.

  • Health Data Science and Technology
    Data science and technology are essential tools for addressing population health challenges and educating future leaders in the field.
  • Prevention and Policy
    The development, dissemination, and implementation of evidence-based practices related to prevention and public health ensures that leaders and policymakers understand the evidence and utilize it in their decision making.
  • Teaching, Mentoring, and Advising
    Our rigorous, student-centered curricula fosters academic excellence while our faculty mentors nurture future public health professionals.
  • Partnerships: Local, National and Global
    Our strong community collaborations enhance the School’s research capacity as well as its educational offerings.

In the Next Five Years: 2019-2024

Over the next five years, the Brown University School of Public Health will expand upon its existing activities and assets while pursuing new opportunities to innovate and transform public health education and research.

Firmly rooted in its foundational commitment to improving population health by advancing science and training tomorrow’s leaders, the School looks ahead, ready to take on urgent health challenges, improve health equity, and optimize the health outcomes of future generations.