What We Do

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The Center for Public Health and Disasters promotes interdisciplinary efforts to reduce the health impacts of domestic and international, natural and human-generated disasters. 


The UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters (CPHD) was established in 1997 to address the critical issues faced when disaster impacts a community. The Center is based in the Department of Community Health Sciences in the UCLA School of Public Health. Center faculty and staff have diverse backgrounds that include emergency medicine, environmental health, urban planning, engineering, international health, health services, epidemiology, gerontology, sociology, and community health.

The UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters facilitates interaction between public health and medicine, engineering, physical and social sciences, and emergency management. The Center collaborates with state and local public health agencies, community-based organizations, schools, hospitals, and agencies in the public and private sector. This interdisciplinary emphasis, integrated with a comprehensive approach to emergency public health, is applied to the education and training of practitioners, the conduct of collaborative research, and service to the community.

The Center has an extensive curriculum in emergency public health, and was the first such program in the United States to offer multiple graduate level courses in emergency public health. These courses are offered through the Department of Community Health Sciences and can be taken as a specialization in emergency public health. Classes are also available to interested professionals through UCLA Extension. By making these courses available to front-line disaster practitioners through University Extension, MPH students who have a strong theoretical and research background are brought together with individuals who are skilled and experienced in disaster management. To see a complete listing of courses, visit the Courses page.