With an aging population that’s mostly rural, Maine is faced with several public health challenges. According to America’s Health Rankings, Maine ranks 15th in the nation for access to care, 8% of the population doesn’t have health insurance, and more than 12% of citizens have avoided seeking medical care.
Additionally, 13.2% of adults in Maine suffer from three or more chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cancer or depression according to 2019 data. That figure for Maine is substantially higher than for the nation as a whole.
In the state of Maine, residents that are concerned with the overall state of wellness within their area may be interested in playing a role in the improvement of public health. Many can find degree programs that can complement their desires.
Maine has two universities with MPH degrees. Their programs focus on the public health problems specific to Maine. The University of Southern Maine runs the Maine Rural Health Research Center that studies issues related to rural health, aging, health care access and health policy that are only applicable to the state.
Earning a master’s in public health in Maine may prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need for a career in public health. Field experience is a potential component in preparing for work in community health, so it may be useful to scrutinize the curriculum to ensure you’ll get some hands-on experience in public health before graduation.
Because both MPH programs in Maine have a generalist focus, it may be beneficial for students to determine if the required classes and available electives will provide the necessary grounding in the specific areas of public health that most interest you.
Public Health Schools and Highlights in Maine
University of New England College of Graduate and Professional Studies
In addition to the MPH, The University of New England offers a Graduate Certificate in Public Health; an 18-credit, 100% online program. Students who complete the graduate certificate may transfer all the courses to the MPH degree program.
University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service
409 Wishcamper, Portland, ME
In addition to housing the Master of Public Health program, the Muskie School of Public Service is a school of public policy that’s also home to the University of Southern Maine’s programs in hospitality and tourism, policy and management and geography-anthropology. The school was named in honor of Sen. Edmund Muskie in 1990.
Educational programs at the Muskie School are interdisciplinary and focus on solving problems. The school has a faculty of more than 200, and about half of them have joint teaching/research appointments. They research areas such as health policy, disability and aging and family well-being. The University of Southern Maine also has programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Certificate of Graduate Study in Public Health and Certificate of Graduate Study in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety.
Online MPH programs in Maine
Online degree programs can be an excellent choice if you want to continue working while pursuing your MPH in Maine. The University of New England offers the only CEPH-accredited online Master of Public Health in Maine, and with this program, there is no requirement to travel to campus. Courses use an asynchronous format so that you can do classwork at your convenience. The UNE MPH program is a generalist program that can prepare you for a broad range of future careers.
Students might also want to consider MPH programs in other states in the New England region, especially if they are looking for a specific concentration. Check our full list of CEPH-accredited online MPH programs.
Medical and Health Services Managers /Healthcare Administrators
Occupational Health Specialists
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Dietitians and Nutritionists
Health Informatics Specialists
*Estimate Not Released/Provided by O*NET
Specializations to Consider in Maine
As shown above, the biggest job growth in public health careers projected for Maine are for biostatisticians, professors and healthcare administrators. Those jobs are also among the highest-paying public health careers in Maine, although in general, salaries in Maine lag the national average.
If you’re interested in a high-paying public health job after you complete your MPH program in Maine, it might be helpful to choose a concentration or specialization in healthcare administration, biostatistics or health specialties education.
Organizations to Work with a Public Health Degree
If you’re exploring your options for an MPH in Maine, these organizations can serve as a source of career information and help you in your search for a job.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services. This state agency is in charge of promoting health and safety for state residents and employs more than 3,300 workers. The website maintains a list of open positions within the department’s divisions.
Maine Public Health Association. Maine’s largest association for public health professionals advocates for the health of Maine residents. The organization maintains a list of open public health jobs on its website.
More than 8% of Maine residents had no health insurance in 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. About 46.5% of residents get their insurance through their employer, Medicaid covers 20% and 19.3% are covered by Medicare.
The infant mortality rate in Maine is 5.5 deaths per 1,000 births, which is slightly lower than the U.S. average of 5.7 deaths per 1,000 births, as of 2018.
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