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Delta Omega (ΔΩ) is the honorary society for graduate studies in public health. The society was founded in 1924 at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Currently, there are approximately 50 chapters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Since Delta Omega's establishment, the meaning and scope of public health has broadened tremendously. While it is still seriously concerned with problems of environmental sanitation and communicable disease control, public health action has come to embrace all aspects of health and disease in populations. These include the planning, organization and support of health promotion, disease prevention and medical care. Basic to modern public health are the social sciences as well as the natural sciences – both in the United States and internationally.
Membership in Delta Omega reflects the dedication of an individual to quality in the field of public health and to protection and advancement of the health of all people. Election to the society is based on outstanding performance – scholarship in students, teaching and research in faculty members, and community service in alumni. Election to membership in Delta Omega is intended, not only to recognize merit, but also, to encourage further excellence in, and devotion to, public health work.
Each chapter elects members yearly from a pool of graduating students, alumni and faculty. In addition to the regularly elected members, chapters and the national executive board invite persons possessing exceptional qualifications, who have attained meritorious national or international distinction in the field to become honorary members of the society. These members include former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, former U.S. President Herbert Hoover, Dr. Jonas Salk and former U.S. Congressmen John Edward Porter.
The National Office of Delta Omega conducts yearly activities in addition to the individual chapters. Most importantly an annual business meeting is held each year in conjunction with the meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA). During the meeting the Delta Omega National Council, consisting of representatives from the chapters, meet to discuss initiatives and activities on a national and chapter level.
In addition to the annual business meeting, Delta Omega hosts a national student poster competition, honoring exceptional student research, and a national curriculum award, to honor innovative public health curricula. Each year the selected poster presenters are given the opportunity to present their award-winning research at the APHA annual meeting. The curriculum award winners present their work at the APHA annual meeting as well as in front of the Delta Omega National Council. Chapters also conduct a variety of activities throughout the year on their campus and in their communities including; scholarship competitions, research awards, socials, lectures, community service projects and many others.
Delta Omega values the advancement of public health education, practice and research and has therefore taken on an initiative to preserve Public Health Classics. For the past decade, the society has sought to preserve and promote public health history by identifying and reprinting classic works in public health. Classics may be books, scientific journal articles, technical reports, legislation or other written publications or multi-media productions. The classics are selected for their historical value and significant contribution to the profession and science of public health. These documents are usually out of print or not widely available in libraries. Delta Omega places the classics on its Web site to make them freely available to all members.
- Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health
- Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health – Alpha Chapter
- Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine – Eta Chapter
- University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health – Mu Chapter
- University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health – Omicron Chapter
- San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health – Sigma Chapter
- The George Washington University School of Public Health - Omega Chapter