Institute of Health Behaviors and Community Sciences
The establishment of this institute corresponds to the demand of five core knowledge cultivation for the talent fostering education in public health. In addition to corresponding to the demand of Taiwan society, the College of Public Health drafted a long-term program at the initial foundation in 1993 to establish an behavior and social science related institute in the future. After establishing the college for nearly 20 years, the “Health Policy and Management Institute” among the four institutes has accumulated considerable teaching and search achievement and energy in ther development of social and behavior science field which is sufficient to take one big step in forming an independent institute on the organizational level with unique and distinguished disciplinary quality, thereby to conduct interdisciplinary research with characteristics of professional domain.
The “Healthy Policy and Management Institute” of College of Public Health includes “Health Promotion” and “Health Industry” in academic expertise and organizational framework. In particular, colleagues of health promotion group are further divided into more sophisticated professional differentiation, which is further attributed to the domains of “Health Policy” and “Health Behavior.” The later has accumulated resources and is equipped with disciplinary quality that is the foundation to the graduate institute. The quality of domains for the institute even includes and implements the implications and concept of previously stressed health promotion. Once the institute has been established, the previous health policy domain will more closely integrate with the “health industry group,” highlighting the disciplinary quality of policy and management. In general, such discipline and organization are added and reshaped to conform to the historic evolution of globally top college of public health and the trends in professional division of labor. The institute was officially established for 2015 academic year.
The educational objective of this institute includes the follows: “develop professional talents equipped with social ecology and multi-layer system perspectives, quality of changing personal and group behaviors, community intervention and capacity to effectiveness evaluation, and translational and communication skills, in order to promote the national health conforming to social justice.”
Although the basis of the institute in terms of organization history consists of the previous “Behavior Science” of “Health Promotion Group” in “Health Policy and Management Institute,” the key development after the establishment substantially differs from the previous context. In particular, the most critical difference lines on the emphasis of the institute: (1) processing impact of environmental structural factors on personal behaviors and health from the perspective of social ecology (2) Implement community units for personal and environmental change and (3) Exceeding the previous personally attributed behaviors with objectives of change in order to progress towards the talent based personal and collective behavior change. Moreover, the another characteristic of the institute that differs from the “Health behavior” is to translate and communicate the factors that can highly shape personal potential into the key development, thereby becoming the tools in implementing the aforementioned three issues.
Orientation and key development of the institute
The institute establishes a research team based on the professional knowledge of social science with intense interaction with the basic and clinical medical social groups, in-depth exploration into healthy society, behaviors, biogenetics, and substance environment interaction mechanism to repurpose community health study, foster talents, establish long-term collaboration with the community, developing student health and communication skills, improve health fitness of people and establishing cooperation with international academic social groups, thereby to develop global health research and academic exchange in-depth.
The process from social demand to academic evolution shows the potential and mission of subject in behavior and social science for future health and medicine. In reality, the state-of-the-start behavior and social science study now progress towards the study of behavior and social factors, genetics, physical, chemical and biological environmental exposure, and social environmental quality in the in vivo and in vitro connection and interaction of individuals, as well as disease cause, treatment and prevention and the role played in health promotion and quality of life. Such systems approach state-of-the-art research (as shown in Figure 1) must undergo innovation, division of labor, and interaction or organization and institution hierarchy before accomplishing (Mabry, Olster, Morgan, and Abrams, 2008; Green, 2006).
Figure 1 Primary research framework and instruction orientation for the future research of the institute