Students at Fairfield will now have the opportunity to help shape the future of the healthcare system with the introduction of the new health studies minor to the College of Arts and Sciences.

The minor, which has already been declared by a number of eager students, focuses personally, professionally and societally on health and healthcare issues.

According to Fairfield’s website, the purpose of the minor is to “develop a broad understanding of the impact of health and healthcare delivery issues … appreciate the breadth of issues impacting health and healthcare in the world from the perspectives of the science & technology, social sciences, and traditions, delivery & ethics, take an interdisciplinary approach to thinking critically about health and healthcare, [and] apply an interdisciplinary approach to investigating a specific healthcare issue.”

Students who have already declared the minor come from all different academic disciplines.

Sophomore Kerri Beine, an international studies major, spoke on the versatility of this new minor. “I recently declared the minor because I hope to one day pursue something along the lines of global public health. I am very excited that Fairfield has added this minor because I think it can help students, like myself, open doors to various occupations in the health field.”

Dr. Shelley Phelan, professor of biology, said in an interview with News @ Fairfield: “We are so excited to see the immediate and significant amount of interest in the health studies minor. It is attracting students from a variety of majors, with a diversity of academic and career interests.”

Phelan also spoke on the amount of students already signing up for the minor. “Because the minor is designed as interdisciplinary, with a goal of preparing and distinguishing our students for a myriad of health-related professions, we believe we are moving quickly along the right path. We expect another burst of declared minors soon among our current first-year students.”

The health studies minor is an interdisciplinary minor which requires 15 credits and includes courses such as anatomy and physiology, abnormal psychology, biological anthropology and health communication in its curriculum. These courses educate on diverse topics from the human body to the human brain and how it works.

Junior Morgan Walton, a psychology major who has declared a health studies minor along with her educational studies minor, believes that the new minor is a great opportunity to learn and that it will be very useful, especially in her field of study.

Walton said to News @ Fairfield, “Based on my interests and future career goal of becoming a child life specialist, I thought that gaining a more integrative background on the nature of the field would be extremely beneficial to me. I wanted to develop a better understanding of the impact that health has on us personally and within our society.”

Nursing major Rebecca Quillard ‘18 added that if she could, she would declare the minor: “I think healthcare is an essential part of everyone’s life, so this is great to hear this is a new major/minor at Fairfield. I think students could really benefit from learning about the current healthcare system and even help in reforming and improving it in the future.”

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