For Professor Emerita Dr. Ione Vargus, whose legacy as Temple’s first African American dean as well as the first female dean of the School of Social Work, her race was no big deal. “I come from a family of firsts,” she said. “My father, Edward Dugger, was the first African American appointed to the Medford Massachusetts City Planning Board. Later, he was the first to have a public park named after him.
The average lifespan is 25 years longer. HIV/AIDS deaths are down 70 percent. Infant mortality has dropped 76 percent. Yet despite all our hard work, other countries are improving faster than we are. For the first time, children in the U.S. may not live as long a life as their parents.
Last week, Dean Siminoff discussed these issues in the context of the future of public health education. This week, as we recognize Public Health Week, we asked the College’s Department Chairs “What are the challenges to becoming the healthiest nation in 2030?”
“We’re working towards increasing the quantity and quality of father’s involvement with their children,” said Jay Fagan, professor of social work and co-director of the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN). Twenty-one percent of children in the country live in single-mother households. But, fathers who don’t live with their children still play an important role in their children’s lives, influencing many positive outcomes such as high school graduation, better peer relationships, less risk for domestic violence and improved overall well-being.