Dr. William Harvey, PhD, was the public health liaison to the National Association of Advisors to the Health Professions (NAAHP) for the past decade. The NAAHP is the membership organization for over 1,000 pre-health advisors most of whom are located at undergraduate colleges across the country. The NAAHP members have a tremendous influence on the future education and training of undergraduate students, who often are not aware of healthcare options beyond medicine. NAAHP was original part of the Association of American Medical Colleges and is steeped in history of a close alliance with medicine. While it has expanded its scope quite a bit over the last decade, many of the pre-health advisors still consider medicine the first career choice for pre-health students.
Dr. Harvey is a pre-health advisor (and faculty of biology at Earlham College), and his role as public health liaison is to ensure that public health is represented in NAAHP programming and priorities. As a public health representative, Dr. Harvey has been a passionate advocate for public health, reminding the NAAHP governing body and his peers that public health is an important career option and that all health careers should be considered carefully. He has been tireless in his efforts to make public health more visible to the pre-health advisor community. For example, Dr. Harvey coordinates a special educational track for pre-health advisors at the bi-annual Disease Detective events, and he also was instrumental in the development of the advisors toolkit for public health.
In related activities, Dr. Harvey was part of the original committee which created SOPHAS and has been an active part of the ASPPH Education Committee working on undergraduate public health education. Dr. Harvey also consults with colleges and universities interested in developing public health programs. All in all, Dr. Harvey is exactly the type of advocate we need more to promote public health among students and advisors.